South African singer Yvonne Chaka Chaka was nearly caught in the crossfire during a police shootout in Midrand

Noem My Skollie has been selected as South Africa's official 2017 foreign-language entry for the Oscars

Sing Street

2016-05-20 08:29
 

What it's about:

It’s 1980s Dublin, and 14-year-old Conor is looking for a break from a home strained by his parents’ relationship and money troubles. He’s trying to adjust to his new inner-city public school, where the kids are rough and the teachers are rougher. He finds a glimmer of hope in the mysterious, über-cool and beautiful Raphina, and, with the aim of winning her heart, he invites her to star in his band’s music videos. There’s only one problem: he’s not part of a band. She agrees, and Conor must deliver what he’s promised. Calling himself “Cosmo” and immersing himself in the vibrant rock music trends of the decade, he forms a band with a few lads, and the group pour their hearts into writing lyrics and shooting videos.

What we thought:

The musical hasn’t had a good rep of late, I’m looking at you Walking on Sunshine

Writer and director John Carney (Once, Begin Again) is working really hard on changing it. And he’s winning at it. 

This time around he draws upon his own life as a teen growing up in Dublin.  Carney himself had a high school band, was bullied at school and was inspired by 80s pop music. 

The semi-autobiographical story centres on 15-year-old Conor/Cosmo (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) who uses music to escape the troubles at home. 

He fiddles around on a guitar, gets educated about music by his older washed-out stoner brother (Jack Reynor) and watching MTV music videos from the likes of The Cure and Duran Duran.

He is love-struck when he meets a slightly older girl, Raphina (Lucy Boynton) and in an attempt to woe her he tells her he needs a model for his band’s new music video. 

With the help of smart mouth ginger (Ben Carolan), a self-taught multi-instrumentalist (Mark McKenna) and a misfit bunch of other amateur musicians he starts a band.

While he initially starts the band to win over the girl it becomes much more than that. Music becomes his vehicle to express himself, to discover who he is and to dream and hope for something much bigger than the city of Dublin. 

It might all sound a bit cheesy but what makes this movie so potent is the unbelievable newcomer cast, a good story and a hit-filled soundtrack. 

Walsh-Peelo is a joy to watch (not only because he is a looker) he has this mix of innocence and charm that translates well on screen. His transformation from mopey teen boy in the beginning to confident, idealist musician, makes you’re a believer. 

Another must-mention is Reynor (Transformers: Age of Extinction) his character is in total juxtaposition of Peelo. While Peelo is the young dreamer who believes anything is possible, Reynor is the washed out, once muso, college dropout, who has basically given up on life. 

He's a Yoda like character to his little brother, he gives good life advice but cannot take his own advice. With his shaggy long hair, his pot at hand and drooped shoulders Reynor encapsulates hopelessness. 

This musical ticks all the right boxes; it's filled with heart, great songs and is escapism at its best. It's like a good song that you instantly like which makes you hit the repeat button. 

Go see this movie!


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