“I’m in a band, I think it’s important that we have a look.”

 

I recently watched Sing Street with my family. I was pleasantly surprised to find it captured my attention from beginning to end.

It embodies Irish culture and boyhood perfectly with its salute to rock, roll, and teenage rebellion.

Conor Lawlor sticks out from the beginning, when his middle-class Dublin family begins to make budget cuts. The brunt of the economic turn is sending Conor to a free-state school. They cannot afford to heat their house any longer, much less pay for education.

Boy meets girl. Conor meets a Raphina, an inspiring model. He (as any love-struck teenage boy would) lies to seem more interesting and quickly tells her he is in a band and needs a model for his music video.

Cue the band formation. Compiling the musically-inclined and the not-so musically inclined, he creates a band called “Sing Street”.

Conor writes songs, and doesn’t have a stellar voice to begin with. His older deadbeat brother, Brendan helps him to understand rock and roll culture. He shapes his younger sibling’s spirit by fostering his love for music, despite his pessimistic façade.

“Your problem is that you’re not happy being sad” Raphina tells Conor, as she walks him through a graveyard and hears out his struggles of fitting in versus standing out.

In a time where being sad was glamorized, the model personifies it to the extreme. Clad mainly in copious amount of jewelry and lipstick, Raphina embodies Irish rebellion in the form of a woman. She gives Conor the nickname Cosmo while attempting to shift the band image to more futuristic.

The best part of the movie for me is when the female bad-ass jumps into the water during a music video, and her lover obviously jumps in after her. The problem is: she cannot swim. When asked why she did it, she replies:

“For our art Cosmo.”

Each character has their cross to bear, from Raphina’s struggling home life to Cosmo’s parents constant fighting and affair accusations.

Cosmo finds his voice, and his footing in Sing Street, a must see.

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