Monday, December 26, 2016

Sing Street Movie Review

Sing Street (2016)
Rent Sing Street on Amazon Video
Watch Sing Street on Netflix
Written by: John Carney
Directed by: John Carney
Starring:  Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Aidan Gillen, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Jack Reynor, Lucy Boynton
Rated: PG-13

My rating is simple, Watch It, It Depends, Skip it. Read my previous movie reviews!

Growing up in Dublin during the '80s, Conor starts a band to impress a girl.

The story is clever in its simplicity. A boy starts a band to impress a girl. This explores creativity in it's purest form as a group of outcasts start a band despite their lack of knowledge and insecurities.
This looks at the process of creation, how thoughts become music from multiple interconnected lives and decisions.
Watch it.

Conor is smitten by a girl, and in trying to impress her, he tells her he not only has a band but wants her to be in their music video. It's the impetus of many a great adventure, but the problem is that Conor doesn't have a band. He manages to put together a band, and at the urging of his brother he moves from cover songs to writing original songs using his life as inspiration.

It's endearing to see these kids go for it, not worrying about what anyone else thinks. They have no idea what they're doing, but they create a song that's kind of interesting. You don't have to have the equipment, you just need the desire to create and they have that drive. I have to imagine many artists started this way.  
Sing Street doesn't just look at Conor, we see the influencers of his art, from his family and brother who pushes him to be better to the girl he likes and the institution that stifles creativity, school. All of this is wrapped around a teen infatuation story, yet many of these characters have depth. We get a sense of where they came from, where they are, and where they are going. Conor's muse is Raphina, the girl he succeeded in impressing.  Conor's brother had big plans that never developed, but he encourages Conor to dream big. You can't help but like the older brother who is disappointed in his own life, but wants to use his mistakes to help Conor. His brother is a big influence on the band, as is his collection of music.

This band and the music is a means of escape. The band is formed from outcasts, now given purpose. Conor's brother focuses his efforts to help Conor and forget his own broken dreams. Their parent's marriage has hit rough times, and the music is a way for Conor to process his thoughts without dwelling on them. Raphina's life is a charade. She talks about being a model, but did nothing until she began helping the band.

Conor's big dreams lead to a Back to the Future inspired music video, with a little bit of Rebel Without a Cause, for his song Drive It Like You Stole It. It's a great sequence, and this is my favorite song of the movie. We get to see how it develops, from words scrawled upon the page, to musing about it with Raphina, and finally putting it to music. I love the look at the creative process. It starts with Conor but encompasses so much of his life.

Conor is a kid that doesn't fit in and abandons any pretense of trying. He begins dressing the part of who he wants to be, a rock star. It takes a certain amount of confidence to come to school looking like David Bowie. This movie is part wish fulfillment, but also shows what's possible with a little bit of luck, inspiration, and motivation. The ending embodies that.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Blogger Widget