Forced to adapt to the new surroundings of state school in 1980’s Dublin, 14-year-old Conor is struggling with a crumbling family and is yearning for an escape. After coming across a mysterious young model, Raphina, he then strives to form his own band to impress her, made up of a contrasting group of students. Together, they begin to write and practice, finding their own sound, personality and image with the help of Raphina.
I actually avoided Sing Street, when it came out in cinemas back in May; for reasons even I’m not quite sure about. Seems like a mistake now after finally viewing it, as it’s going straight onto my list of top films of 2016. As a big fan of music, the themes are extremely appealing to witness. There’s so much charm and personality: the era is brilliantly presented even through the soundtrack – a compilation of hits that each compliment the feature excellently.
The music is, of course, a highlight: it’s a central thread that proves to become a appreciated form of escapism for the protagonist in particular. Witnessing the group of youngsters discover the joys of melody and teamwork is brilliant, running with an idea and discovering something truly wonderful. It’s such a innocent state coupled with their straight-to-the-point, indelicate language that builds friendships in the best of ways. The scene in which Conor first views a Duran Duran music video is an excellent example of how music has the power to captivate and enthral, as he looks over the seemingly out-there visuals.
It’s a brilliant story progression, following Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) and his journey to self-discovery. As cliché as that sounds, the film maintains an easy-going attitude, while still combatting more serious life issues – bullying, economy downfall and the separation of the protagonist’s family. In particular, the separation of Conor’s parents is a central development to Conor and his own story; it builds a bond between him and his brother (brilliantly portrayed by Jack Reynor).
Truly a wonderful coming-of-age story that stands out from the rest of the pack by avoiding typical pitfalls. With the ability to dodge the tedious boy-meets-girl story scenarios, we’re greeted with simplicity and a growth of personality – particularly with Conor as he attempts to find his image and his place in the music scene. It sticks in your head for hours after the viewing of the wonderful feature, with the tunes continuing to run on repeat.