An excellent, uplifting film, that all will enjoy.
“SING STREET” is written and directed by John Carney and follows a boy growing up in Dublin in the mid-80’s. He has a very troubled home life, has been transferred to another school for financial reasons, and has trouble fitting in to his new surroundings often getting picked on.
When he meets a girl on a random day his life changes forever. He decides to start up a band on a whim, and through their music he escapes his fractured home life, and at the same time expresses his feelings to this girl who has captured his heart.
This film premiered at Sundance and made the rounds on the festival circuit as well as a wide overseas release. It received a limited US release, and has generated a ton of praise. I missed it during its short run in cinemas and now it is the best thing to watch on Netflix.
It’s tough on a film when you go in with higher expectations and even more difficult for it is to surpass them, but this film absolutely did that. It tells such a heart-warming, deeply emotional, and incredibly uplifting story, and to complement the thought provoking script, was a collection of fantastic performances.
These kids were excellent and perfectly suited for their roles. Their dynamics were realistic and you could buy these kids as a group of outcasts that form a band to rely on each other not just for music but as friends to support each other. Watching these characters share their love of music, watching them create their songs, and seeing the excitement in their performances, are what pull you into this story. It makes you care about these characters, and makes you want them to achieve their dreams and find their success.
The story starts out building the family dynamic and setting the groundwork for the lead character of Conor played excellently by Ferdia Walsh-Peelo. The first-act builds the reasons why this kid wants to escape his life in a compelling way. Also, while the tone is clearly on the side of drama, there is a moment early on where Conor meets his first friend, that the clever humor begins to blend in brilliantly.
This is both a drama, and an extremely effective comedy as well, and the combination is excellent. The script seamlessly weaves a love story in and it never slows the pace, feels forced, or detracts from the message the film wants to deliver. Instead it leaves you wanting more and in the end, only adds to the inspiration of the story overall.
If you have a support system around you that motivates you for success you are a lucky person, but many people aren’t as fortunate. They have to use the people around them that silently hope for their failure, to in the end feel better about themselves, as motivation for their goals. And films like this show you that it isn’t just a fact of life, but a simple fact of having the wrong people around you.
These kids all came from being outsiders and alone for the most part, to having each other to drive their own success to reach for their goals, and it was highly compelling and uplifting to watch. I loved the dynamic between Conor and his older brother Brendan played by Jack Reynor. He was a supportive older brother that despite his short comings in life, never deterred from his drive to help his brother succeed, and it was an amazing dynamic in this story.
Lastly the music in this film was simply spectacular, it was a mix of classic 80’s rock and pop and as a kid who grew up in the era, the score of this film took me back to my childhood which only helped in connected me with the young characters and rooting for their success.
“Sing Street” is a fantastic film, John Carney writes and directs a subtle yet greatly impactful film. This one is a must-see, if you have Netflix watch it immediately, watch it on Amazon, Google Play, or get it on Blu-Ray it is a great addition to any movie collection.
Time: 106 min
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (For thematic elements including strong language and some bullying behavior, a suggestive image, drug material and teen smoking)