New Greetings from the Dark. The vast majority of the music of the 1980s usually inspires only moans and an immediate change of radio station on my part. Yet writer / director John Carney masterfully captured and caught my eye with this enjoyable amount of story that leans heavily on the melodies of that era.
Carney was also responsible for two previous music-oriented films, Once (2007) and Begin Again (2013). He is an extraordinary storyteller who puts music at the center of attention, but avoids the “musical” label by doing it on people rather than on notes.
It is 1985 in economically depressed Dublin, and a strong opening sequence brings us to Connor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) when his still conflicted parents (Aidan Gillen, Maria Doyle Kennedy) inform him of the economic need to remove him from nursery school and enroll him in a much more difficult environment … the one that goes hand in hand with bullies and tenacious teachers/clergymen.
Soon Connor clings to the Misfits and invites a charming “elderly” girl to star in the video of his band. She agrees, and the big-eyed Connor quickly sets out to create a band that didn’t exist before.
There are two interesting and fully realized relationships that make this Movie rattle: Connor and the charming Raphina (Lucy Boynton) and Connor and his older brother Brendon (Jack Reynor). Brendan is Connor’s mentor and music guru. They’re quick to jump into the new world of music videos, and it’s a real scream to see Connor emulate the style and fashion of Duran, Duran, The Cure, etc.
It’s fascinating that even though he’s a pretty talented songwriter and singer, Connor doesn’t seem to really love music, except as a way to do it … to get the girl. The real message here is that while teenagers often feel that they can’t fix the outside world (parents, teachers, bullies), they can fix themselves by finding a passion in life(the Film uses the term vocation).
It’s hard not to notice the influence of filmmakers like John Hughes and Cameron Crowe, and Carney certainly brings his touch of romanticism. In addition, you need to appreciate every Movie that produces such a catchy original song as” Drive it like you Stole it ” and records Phil Collins at the same time. This is a fun and cute Movie that should really impose itself by positive word of mouth.