Yesterday evening to celebrate St Paddy’s I went to the Cineworld on Parnell Steet to see an Irish film named Sing Street.
Before I start babbling about the film, I just want to say that I was both shocked and appalled that the ticket cost 12.30Eur. I know that the Cineworld is the most expensive cinema in the world – hence the name perhaps. But this was for a basic seat – there were none of those gimmicks like 3D or ISense or IMAX added on. I was quite resentful of this overcharging for the ticket as I chewed on my 6eur medium sized bag of popcorn bought at the snack stand, and drank from my 1.50 bottle of cola that I had prepurchased in Dealz Bargainstore next door to the picturehouse.
Sing Street is an Irish film – funded by the Irish Film Board and starring Irish actors. It’s set in Dublin in the 1980s and it is about a bunch of teenagers who decide to form a rock band. So far, so Commitments.
It’s a very different kettle of fish to the Commitments mind. That film is 25 years old this year and is rightly regarded these days as a demi-classic. In no small part thanks to the fact that it was written by Roddy Doyle who has the most incredible ability to tell a story and an uncanny ear for Dublin dialogue.
Sing Street is not as good, but that’s not to say it lacks merit. It’s a very entertaining film. It’s the well worn tale of a teenager whose parents are struggling financially (the parents are played by Aidan Gillen and Maria Doyle Kennedy – she of the Commitments fame. It was sort of weird to see these two playing a married couple as I associate them as brother and sister – which they played in ‘Queer as folk’ almost twenty years ago). The teenager is taken out of his posh,, private school and sent to Synge Street – a rough inner city Christian Brothers school. He teams up with another group of misfits and they form a band to enable him to get the girl across the road.
All the cliches of the high school movie are included – the prom (or Debs as it’s known in Ireland), the bully who becomes an ally, the struggle to fit in.
And it was quite lovely and uplifting. It evokes an era only very recently passed – when at 7pm on a Thursday you’d settle in front of the telly to watch Top of the Pops, where it was quite common not to have a telephone. And all that stonewashed denim and frosted hair. And of course the glorious, plinky-plonky sytnthesiser sound of 1980s music.
It evoked an era when if you made plans at 8pm on Saturday, you had no way of informing someone that you might be delayed, and that like a melon you could end up standing outside Todds in town knowing that the person would arrive at some point. Or even worse not show up.
It won’t be winning any awards but it was a nice way to celebrate the day that was in it.
And I am going to include a huge spoiler now….
He gets the girl in the end.