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| 20 July 2016 | Reply

Written & directed by John Carney
Starring Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Lucy Boynton, Aidan Gillen, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Jack Reynor
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Sing Street movie poster

Poor old Connor Lawler. As if his parent’s dysfunctional marriage breakdown isn’t enough, he’s taken out of his nice Jesuit school and sent to a Christian Brother college, a hotbed of violence, teenage angst and guardian abuse.

Connor has grander ideas though: form a band, shoot a video, impress a girl. In 1985 Dublin that’s far more ambitious than most.

Like a million punk bands before them, Connor’s older brother steers him right with some rock n’ roll record schooling, then the band falls together almost by accident, absorbing each different wave of influence into their look and sound and redefining themselves time and again.

Sing Street is a heartwarming and genuinely funny coming of age tale populated by real characters full of charm and problems and confusion and hope. Performances are entirely natural throughout, with newcomer lead Ferdia Walsh-Peelo perfectly cast as the young fella who wants more from life and sees the potential of the times shining through the darkness of his situation.

There’s a special appeal here for anyone who picked up a guitar or a raggedy drum kit and bashed out some rebellion songs in their garage or front room with a few mates and a case of beer, and for all of us who grew up with this wonderful soundtrack (Motorhead, Thin Lizzy, Duran Duran, The Cure, the Clash, Spandau Ballet, Hall & Oats and many more), but these prerequisites aren’t essential as Sing Street has a simple, universal appeal to it: we’ve all been teenagers, with all the ups and downs and hopes and dreams that entails.

Life, of course, isn’t a music video: it’s harsh and it hurts – especially through the hell ride that is puberty – but music ALWAYS helps us through that. More than anything else, Sing Street is a love letter to the coming of age that comes hand-in-hand with musical awakening. The songs we grow up with, that soundtrack the most tumultuous times of our lives, become a part of who we are for the rest of our lives.

Category: Movie & Theatre Reviews

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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