Sing Street – Review

Oh, John Carney. You are a brilliant mastermind! You can bring joy and humanity to your films and make us truly sing! You are the master of gloriously echoing music throughout this charming films such as Once and Begin Again. Indeed, it looks like you are back to take the world by storm again with the excellent Sing Street that features everything that makes your movies such rambunctious and infectious fun and broiling devastation..

Set against the backdrop of an economic recession, this Irish movie revolves around Conor, a young boy who is moved from his comfortable life in a private school and into an inner city Dublin school.  There, he discovers the super-cool Raphina and attempts to impress her by forming a band so she can star in their music videos. Bringing in random boys from the school, Conor – otherwise known as Cosmo – tries his hand at wannabe musician – emulating the likes of The Cure, Duran Duran, and Adam Ant!

“The Commitments for Kids!” – a few reviewers have been saying, likening Sing Street to Alan Parker’s seminal musical adventure and the familiarities may tarnish an almost impeccable feature. However, in the young collective, brimming with delightful kinetic joy and unbridled talent, the band takes form and becomes the vocal point for artistic expression and emotional puberty that populates the film so brilliantly.  Ferdia Walsh-Peelo allows Cosmo to come alive with his own brand of anarchism when life and love literally punch him in the face. Walsh-Peelo tackles the gravitas of visceral scenes alongside the boisterous band and their aims for freedom.

Helped by Jack Reynor’s outlandish “hippy” notions as an older brother Brendan guiding Cosmo to glory, and Lucy Boynton’s stunning Raphina marred by circumstance, Sing Street is a collection of young actors enlivening the film with youthful ambition and more!

As with Carney’s work, the songs are a collection of songs as compelling as anything.  Eighties odes and melodious originals are bountiful in the film. The soundtrack mixed with classic pop tunes and unique masterpieces such as The Riddle of the Model and Drive It Like You Stole It allow this “sort of musical” to brim with undeniably amazing songs.

Simply having a band churn out some guitar riffs and capturing the eighties music in a loving homage would be enough to sail Carney’s masterful comedy into a slick and entertaining film. But Carney is adept at juxtaposing emotional and difficulty in a human way. With his parent’s separation pending, bullying at school from teachers and pupils alike, and Raphina’s panache for older men, Conor is plagued by life that he escapes from in his music. Carney also delivers an accurate look at working class Ireland which is loving contrasted against that coming age notion to escape. It all mixes together to create a near-perfect musical adventure.

The energetic happiness that beams throughout you as you skip merrily from the screening is unparalleled in this year’s collection of gritty superheroes, damned dramas, and the misery in between.  Certainly, that spirituous effervescence that waves excitable and determined emotion through you way past the credit roll is unique to Carney’s cinematic portfolio. Not without the ebbs of devastation flowing underneath this inspirational ditty, Sing Street is power song, a fist pump, and a charge for something greater than the one life has given you. Its hope and courage; rolling with catchy tunes and a beating heart that makes the world a little bit brighter…


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