Due to the recession and his parent’s financial difficulties, Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) moves to a much rougher school where he becomes the target of tyrannical teachers and boisterous bullies but luckily for him it appears to be the case that apparently musical talent impresses girls (I have zero talent let alone zero musical talent). So, in order to impress this gorgeous girl, Raphina (Lucy Boynton), who hangs outside his school, Conor lies about being in a band so Conor, and group of mates, start a band and invite her to be in a video.
John Carney’s highly engaging, Irish drama is perhaps most enjoyed by those whose childhood encompassed much of the 80s as the film has been described as nostalgic of that era. Having been born in the year 1992 I had to find something else to enjoy and thankfully I did. The most rewarding aspect for me was the relationship between Conor and his older brother, Brendan (Jack Reynor). Brendan is very much Conor’s mentor in life from music to girls and he also assists Conor in navigating through the difficulties of their parent’s bitter relationship and eventual divorce. Their relationship is as integral to the film as the music and Conor’s relationship with Raphina and whilst the music is superb and catchy and Conor’s relationship with Raphina is engaging it’s this brotherly relationship that’s integral to the film. Its perhaps why the film is dedicated to brothers everywhere.
The film focuses so much on the two main relationships that any other relationships with other members of his family are somewhat forgotten. Conor’s relationship with his parents is non-existent, though I’d wager this is intentional but the lack of a relationship with his sister is more due to a lack of time to squeeze it in. The chemistry the band members share with one another is a little light of rapport but the band’s music is still magnificent. It’s a trifle predictable, but the pitch perfect performances, superb soundtrack and universal story makes the film delight.