‘Boy meets girl’, ‘Boy loses girl’, ‘Boy gets girl again’. This scenario has been around since cinema’s birth. We should be fed up with it by now but aren’t. The reason is how it is told with many movies using this simple device to huge effect. Put in some cool music, striking fashion and a hit is sure to materialise. ‘Sing Street’ is one such film. Full of those elements, it’s a shameless crowd-pleaser with 1980’s fashion making one wonder if we ever looked like that.
Living in Dublin during the 1980’s, Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) is a teenager wanting to impress the new girl in town Raphina (Lucy Boynton). Unsure how to do this, he comes up with the idea of forming a band. With his wayward father Robert (Aiden Gillen) looking on, Conor hopes to capture the girl of his dreams. This is easier said than done with obstacles and calamities the order of the day on Conor’s rocky romantic road.
Whilst ‘Sing Street’ is filled with clichés, the way it tells the story is charming. You can’t help but be engaged in Conor’s plight not only in securing the girl but his family and social situations. Spending days at a Catholic school with tough Christian brothers along with bullies makes his life intolerable. Using these to fuel his desire to write songs and break away from his fractured existence is something many can relate with. The ‘give it a go’ mantra and following dreams motif is universal and is well conveyed by strong performances.
Writer and Director John Carney must be an 80’s child as he generally captures the era perfectly. His script is fairly well realised even if it’s filled with a few too many sub-plots. He also loses focus on certain characters who aren’t as interesting as others detracting from the film’s cohesiveness. Overall ‘Sing Street’ is enjoyable with original music mixed amongst 80’s classics.
Although corny in places, ‘Sing Street’ has plenty of ragged energy successfully capturing an era where raw initiative was applauded. With characters determined not to stay in an emotional bind, ‘Sing Street’ is worth checking out for that and seeing how big hair got in the decade of excess.
Movie Review Rating out of 10: 7
Movie Review by Patrick Moore
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Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.