I’m a member of the Regal Crown Club, one of those many rewards programs where you get free movie tickets or popcorn after so many points accrued. Recently, they have been inviting me to attend special screenings of films a few days prior to their official release. So it was I went to see Sing Street last week, an Irish film by John Carney, the force behind the well loved movie Once.
The story takes place in the 1980’s, when the music was all about such innovators as Duran Duran, Ah-Ha and The Cure, along with the advent of the music video. I liked the music of the 80’s, when MTV was getting a foothold and video paired with music first caught on.
Prior to attending the movie, I played the trailer and was leery of the plot. A 15-year-old teen decides to form a band in order to impress a 16-year-old girl. This plot device is one I’ve seen in other films, most notably in Love Actually, and in a similar vein in About a Boy. So I was skeptical that this would be an old worn out plot.
But to my delight, this film rocked! It worked right from the beginning. The characters were well developed, the story engaging, and the music was fabulous. I especially liked the song Drive It Like You Stole It. The movie is often funny, a bit heart wrenching in places, and their tribute to prom night ala Back to the Future, that classic 80’s film, was great.
Synge Street is the name of a school in Dublin, thus the film’s name Sing Street. Cosmo (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) is enamored with Raphina (Lucy Boynton), and when he asks her to be in a video, hastily goes about finding other boys to form a band. Cosmo’s older brother Brendan (Jack Reynor) schools him in contemporary music. Cosmo takes it all to heart, and they come up with a unique sound. The band members each add individual flavor to the film, and work well together. How Cosmo eventually deals with the school bully is ingenious, and shows just how much he’s grown.
Jack Reynor commands the screen every time he appears in a scene, and in some ways, even carries the movie, his character is so strongly and authentically portrayed. Ferdia Walsh-Peelo has a great voice and is believable as the love-struck teen who will stop at nothing to achieve his goals.
The film is rated PG-13 for thematic elements, including strong language and some bullying behavior, a suggestive image, drug material and teen smoking. Sing Street is a movie for all ages, primarily because it is more than just a “boy meets girl, gets girl” type of plot. It’s about going after your dreams, living up to your potential, taking risks, and all to a really great soundtrack.
I highly recommend Sing Street. The audience I viewed it with did too, given their laughter and comments about the film as we were filing out of the theater. Enjoy.