Love&Anarchy 2016- Helsinki International Film Festival – Sing Street – Film Review in English


TITLE: Sing Street

DIRECTOR and WRITER: John Carney 

YEAR: 2016

COUNTRY: Ireland


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Sing Street is an airy film that plays like a love letter to the 80s and its music. Set in Ireland during a time when people were immigrating to Britain for better opportunities, our young protagonists make the best of their surroundings by immersing themselves in a music style they don’t quite yet understand.

Conor is a 14­year­old boy with the prototypical dysfunctional family: underachieving older brother, disillusioned sister, and argumentative parents. He’s sent to a new boy’s school with the sadistic headmaster and various token bullies. There’s also the cute girl, Daphina, who lives across the street from the school, a year older, street smart, with troubles of her own. This film could have easily been bogged down with so many characters we’ve all seen before but the sharp writing and snappy acting keep it above water. After Conor’s Yoda­like big brother encourages him to woo the mysterious girl by becoming a musician, he won’t be denied. The band he recruits are a similar bunch of misfits who fit together nicely as only misfits can. Daphina, who aspires to move to Britain and become a model, is swiftly and deftly assigned roles in the band’s homemade music videos. There is genuine comradery on screen and it’s easily felt by the moviegoer. The young actors were cast for their music skills and not only do they play their own instruments, it was also the first time they had acted in a movie. Their novice acting chops are a non­issue as each one of them give a solid performance. As the band Sing Street gain confidence, so do the characters, and as a viewer we gain confidence right alongside them. The loving big brother is there to guide Conor while living vicariously through him, quenching the burning hurt he feels due to his own missed chance in life. He instills in Conor an appreciation of tunes from brooding emo to new wave slickster while the band gleefully emulates their newly discovered style and music throughout the film.

Sing Street is a small gem that deserves an audience whether you were exposed to the 80s or not. The upbeat soundtrack and original songs are worth the ticket in itself.

Written by Early Artis 


Pictures: Helsinki International Film Festival

Sing Street IMDB

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