Sing Street (2016)

You only have the power to stop things, but not to create.

I can’t believe it took me this long to see Sing Street and it is directed by John Carney, the man behind one of my favorite films of all time, Begin Again. Sing Street is set in Dublin, Ireland in the year of 1985. 15 year old Conor Lalor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) joins his parents Robert (Aiden Gillen) and Penny (Maria Doyle Kennedy) and siblings Brendan (Jack Reynor) and Ann (Kelly Thornton) down in the kitchen for a family meeting. Due to recent financial struggles, Robert announces that he and Penny are putting Conor in a free school as opposed to paying for his current school.

Conor begins his new term at Synge Street. He meets the school’s principal, Brother Baxter (Don Wycherley), who tells him they have a strict black shoe policy, and Conor only owns brown ones. Conor later comes across the local bully Barry (Ian Kelly), who holds a slingshot at his face in the bathroom and forces him to dance. When he tells Conor to dance in his underwear, Conor refuses. During lunch, Conor buys a chocolate bar and gets it taken by Barry, who punches Conor in the eye. This leads to Conor meeting Darren (Ben Carolan).

As the two leave school, Conor spots Raphina (Lucy Boynton), a girl he finds attractive. Darren says she has no interest in any of the boys at school. Conor approaches her to say hello and introduces himself and she says she’s a model. Conor asks her to be in a video for his band. Raphina asks him to sing a song. Not knowing anything, he sings two bars from “Take On Me” by a-Ha. Raphina agrees to be in the video. Conor then runs back to Darren and says they need to form a band. Darren takes Conor to meet Eamon (Mark McKenna), a kid who is skilled at most instruments, but he settles on playing the bass guitar. Next, the boys recruit Ngig (Percy Chamburuka) to play the keyboard. Two more kids, Larry (Conor Hamilton) and Garry (Karl Rice), round out the band. Darren acts as the band’s manager. They decide to call themselves “Sing Street”. They first start by playing a cover of Duran Duran’s “Rio”. Conor plays it for Brendan, who says it’s crap. He encourages his brother to write original songs to find their own style.

Sing Street is one of those films where you want to tell everyone you know that it is amazing. Seriously, you haven’t watch this film, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Don’t be like me who waited and prolonged my enjoyment. The music is fantastic, I automatically when to download the album off Apple Music. Drive it Like You Stole It won’t stop playing in my head. The characters all have flaws that were fleshed out in various degrees, I especially love how Conor found his identity through music. I haven’t felt such sadness for a character in a long time like I did with Brendan. I was expecting Brendan to throw himself into the sea. I felt some of the characters had escaped, Brendan just seemed to have given up. It was a bittersweet moment when Brendan gave up his dreams to help out his brother’s. The ending is a bit confusing but I remember that they are constantly moving in and out of reality (the prom sequence) so it makes sense. The sequence with the school dance is one of the best things I’ve seen in a film in a long time. The perfect mix of fun, sad, catharsis, just everything in one neat little package.I absolutely loved this film. I’ve always had a soft spot for coming of age films and this one is one of the better ones I have seen recently. I also loved John Carney’s Begin Again. Such a simple and familiar story, but they ground it in such a concrete character foundation, everything that happens just has so much emotional weight. If you like heartwarming, musical, and FUN films, check this one out. SuperSam rates Sing Street a strong 10/10.

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