There are some that feel that music is contextual, that in the right moment at the right time, any song can have an impact on you. I’ve always felt the opposite, that you like what you like and that’s the end of it. I have felt that way until, that is, I got a chance to watch Sing Street. Motorhead. Duran Duran. The Cure. Hall & Oates. These are all names that I didn’t grow up with. However, it wasn’t long after the credits hit that I had the entire soundtrack in my possession. That’s how good this film was.
It’s 1980-something in Dublin, Ireland and fourteen-year-old Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) is starting at a new school. It isn’t long before he meets a girl he likes. He asks her to be in a music video for his band. The only problem: There is no music video planned. There isn’t even a band.
Zero. That equals the number of things I found wrong with this movie. Now that we’ve gotten the cons squared away…
This movie is about a band so it’s only fitting that I start with the music. The soundtrack always finds itself in the right place at the right time. Director John Carney does an awesome job of letting the music manage the mood. The balance is perfection. “Drive it Like You Stole it” will have you bouncing along on a musical high while “To Find You” makes you pause in reflection and consider the struggles of young Conor who not only wants to win the girl, but keep her.
Sing Street manages give every character their own flair while also making them significant in their own way. From the kid wearing vampire teeth because he thought it was cool to the random black guy in the group added for the sake of having a random black guy (no, seriously), these characters were neither boring nor one-dimensional. Every single one of them had a purpose and that, in and of itself, has got to be a dreadful challenge to undertake and accomplish. This film stresses that everyone has a purpose and that’s it never too late to achieve that purpose. It also maintains people are the way they are for a reason and it’s not always merely cut and dry.
Of course these characters couldn’t be portrayed without phenomenal acting and Sing Street holds its own in this sense. Walsh-Peelo and his love interest Raphina (Lucy Boynton) have great chemistry on set together. It’s a relationship you ache to see succeed. Not only did the main actors fare well, but the smaller parts succeeded as well. My personal favorite was Percy Chambruka playing Ngig aka The Random Black Guy.
Sing Street is one of those movies you recommend on a movie night with the confidence of knowing every single person in the room, black or white, hip hop or country, is going to love it. It’s a sneaky favorite done perfectly. That’s why I’m giving it a perfect 100.