Visit Dublin, Youth and the ’80s with “Sing Street”
It was only coincidence, but I happened to watch the 2003 classic School of Rock on cable Friday night. That movie—which launched Jack Black’s career and held a box office record for the genre until 2015, was about kids whose lives were transformed by creating a good band. They get some mentoring of course, and viewers have to accept that they had more than a little studio help with regard to the quality of the sound, but the theme works–probably because we want so badly for it to work.
[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]For the price of admission, you get an extra pair of tickets: one to Dublin and another back in time to the era of Boy George, big hair, and Duran Duran– the ‘1980s. And perhaps yet one more ticket to your own past, to high school and overpowering crushes and the cruelty of children.[/pullquote]
Musical achievement can be a great equalizer and liberator amid all kinds of bullying and oppression. Everyone loves the star-making stories, the progression from playing the high school gym to having your name on the marquee at a big venue. The reality talent shows are global now.
There’s a new movie out from this musical romance genre. From John Carney, the director of “Once” (2007), comes another film set in Dublin. It’s called Sing Street. This one takes place in the 1980s, and the main character is fifteen years old.
As with past coming-of-age music films, the credibility is stretched to the limit. But it has to be. No one really expects to discover overnight they have musical super powers, yet how many dreamers out there–young or old–have to believe that maybe, just maybe, they could be “discovered” one day and be liberated from the bondage of school, work, rules, and people who don’t understand them.
Only a few ever dare to try, and many fewer achieve stardom. Sadly, as one character from the film states it, “Rock and roll is about taking risks.”
Sing Street is a surprisingly enjoyable movie. For the price of admission, you get an extra pair of tickets: one to Dublin and another back in time to the era of Boy George, big hair, and Duran Duran– the ‘1980s. And perhaps yet one more ticket to your own past, to high school and overpowering crushes and the cruelty of children.
The film is alternately funny, heartwarming, heartbreaking, and joyful. The music, now that it echoes from one full generation in the past, is enjoyably retro.
There are almost no reasons not to see this film, unless you’re afraid you will revisit your own past and with anguish and regret wish you had taken the risks and shot the moon and defied the odds and poured your soaring and youthful soul into making music.
And formed a good band.