The low budget feel-good musical film scores with its charming cast and catchy tunes.


Sing Street is Irish director John Carney’s third musical film after Once (2007) and Begin Again (2013) and it doesn’t disappoint.


Set in recession-ridden Dublin, Ireland in the 1980s, Sing Street is a tale of optimism in hard times. The story centers on Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo), who has to drop out of private school to attend a rough public school as his financially drained parents go through an ugly separation. It’s a tough period, but he meets his dream girl, model-wannabe Raphina (Lucy Boynton). So he decides to form a band to make her the star of his music video; and as he wins his girl, he also leads his band to campus stardom.


Conor creates a band to chase his crush, Raphina.


The feel-good film is a semi-biographical account of the director’s growing up years. The storyline is predictable, but when it’s packaged with a talented cast, catchy tunes and hilarious banters, it can certainly make for joyous viewing.


What’s especially commendable is the director’s ability to assemble an ensemble cast of raw talents for the film. The fresh-faced actors are all convincing as both actors and singers / instrumentalists. Walsh-Peelo and Boynton also share a lot of chemistry, making the adolescent courtship a sheer joy to watch.


Fresh-face Walsh-Peelo’s acting doesn’t disappoint.


Most of the original compositions in the film are the works of veteran composer Gary Clark with Northern Irish rock band Relish. Adam Levine, the Grammy Award-winning frontman of Maroon 5, co-wrote and performed one of the soundtracks, “Go Now”. The film also features radio hits by Duran Duran, The Cure, A-ha and other famous bands from the 80s. Those who grew up listening to these bands would have very good reasons to catch this film.


Sing Street premiered in this year’s Sundance Film Festival in January and was progressively released in major cities over the past few months. It’s made with a humble (undisclosed) budget and has grossed US$8.3 million to date. Judging from the director’s track record, with Once grossing US$23.3 million and Begin Again grossing $63.5 million, Sing Street shouldn’t find it hard to break even.