“Sing Street” is a musical classic
The John Carney film proves coming of age stories will always remain relevant. | imdb.com
This past week I saw an early screening of “Sing Street,” and before the movie finished, I knew I would add it to my list of favorites.
A Musically-Driven Plot
Writer and director John Carney, known for “Once” and “Begin Again,” follows up his previous successes with another musically-driven plot line. At its core,“Sing Street” is a story about the influence music can have on a person. In this case, 15-year-old Connor, “Cosmo,” played by newcomer Ferdia Walsh-Peelo.
The movie opens up in 1980s Dublin, Ireland with Connor and his family sitting around their kitchen table eating breakfast when his parents, played by Aidan Gillen and Maria Doyle Kennedy, inform him he will have to switch schools due to financial constraints. The tension in Connor's family becomes apparent through the next few scenes with parents who constantly argue, a sister who holes herself up in her studies and a stoner college dropout for a brother. While Connor seems to have no real relationship with his sister Ann, played by Kelly Thornton, he builds on a pre-existing one with his brother Brendan, played by Jack Reynor, throughout the movie.
First Day of School
Connor’s first day at his new school, Synge Street, is the run-of-the mill rough first day because of a bully and corrupt headmaster. His second day, however introduces him to his first friend and eventual band manager, Darren, played by Ben Carolan, as well as the girl who epitomizes ‘80s fashion and captures Connor’s heart, Raphina, played by Lucy Boynton.
In an effort to impress Raphina, a beautifully intimidating 16-year-old, Connor tells her he plays in a band that needs a girl for their music video. Through impressive sweet-talking, Connor gets her number, much to the amazement of Darren, who then helps Connor form a band. They recruit Eamon, played by Mark McKenna, Ngig, played by Percy Chamburuka, Larry, played by Conor Hamilton and Garry, played by Karl Rice. Most of the band members are just there to hold and play instruments, but McKenna’s character Eamon provides laughs and has an obvious friendship with Connor.
The remainder of the movie focuses on Connor and Raphina’s relationship, relayed through the music Connor writes for the band. With each new song, Connor’s personal clothing style changes to reflect his current influences and it becomes obvious that he, along with the rest of the band, are trying to find their sound. Influenced by Duran Duran, Depeche Mode and The Cure, the songs Connor writes resonate with whatever scenario he faces at the time — love, loss of familial stability, heartbreak, bullying and taking ownership of his life.
Like any classic coming of age story, the ending is uplifting and will leave you with a smile on your face while you hum the music of the film.
Breaking the Norm
“Sing Street” is one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. The more I think about the movie, the more I love it and want to see it again. Not many movies are truly worth the price to see them, but “String Street” breaks that norm.