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||IMDB Rating: 5.7/10 from 736 votes
||Release: 3 September 2010 (UK) /
||Genre: Comedy, Drama, Music
||Director: Shimmy Marcus,
||Stars: Alfie Allen, Brennan Reece, Brian McCardie, Bruce Jones, Craig Parkinson, Danielle Henry, Felicity Jones, Hannah Crighton, Honra Shirley, Huey Morgan, Jo Hartley, Martin Compston, Nichola Burley, Pat Shortt, Vortre Williams
||Synopsis: A coming-of-age drama set in the 1970s Northern Soul underground music scene.
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Soulboy is directed by Shimmy Marcus and written by Jeff Williams. It
stars Martin Compston, Felicity Jones, Alfie Allen, Nichola Burley, Pat
Shortt and Craig Parkinson. Music is by Len Arran and photography by
1974, Stoke-On-Trent, and Joe McCain (Compston) is tiring of his
humdrum, repetitive life. Then one day, prompted by his work colleague
Brendan (Shortt), Joe finds the gumption to seek a date with pretty
hairdresser Jane Rogers (Burley). She opens up a new world to him, a
burgeoning music scene in the North of England known as Northern Soul,
the epicentre of which is the Casino Club in Wigan. But as Joe begins
to find his identity in a blast of all night dancing and friendship,
drugs, violence and matters of the heart begin to hover over him like
dark clouds waiting to unload.
Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy.
It's best just to say it straight off, this is hardly a film to do
Northern Soul justice. The movement itself is forming the backdrop to a
very basic, run-of-the-mill, coming of age romantic tale. Which is sad,
that the plot is so weak and poorly written, because the music, dancing
and period awareness is joyous. But at least its heart is in the right
place, as it's always charming and quite often funny before things get
serious in the final third; even if a dance off sequence in said final
third is unintentionally daft. From the 70s vibe of Stoke-On-Trent,
with the terrace houses and the potteries buildings, to the recreation
of Wigan's famous Casino Club (it sadly burnt down in 1981), Marcus and
his team really have an eye for period milieu (impressive given Marcus
is a born and bred Dubliner). Shaggy hair cuts, platform shoes,
tank-tops and Brut 33 aftershave, all keep us firmly in the time of
setting, while vintage vehicles, although in short supply because of
the small budget, also give the film that vital 70s edge.
Performances are mixed, but lead lad Compston (Red Road) does a grand
job of conveying a 17 year old guy in limbo. With a killer smile and a
good helping of dexterity for the dance sequences, he's engaging and
provides a characterisation that's easy to get on side with and follow
through to the end. Burley (Donkey Punch) is under written in what is
meant to be one of the main parts, but this does allow the lovely
Felicity Jones (Cemetery Junction) to shine through and bounce of off
Compston's energy to great effect. Parkinson (Control) is badly miscast
as dance floor bully Alan, while a fledgling romance between Jo Hartley
(This is England) and Pat Shortt (Garage) doesn't offer much to the
plot, which is a shame since both are more than capable actors.
Vladimir Trivic's photography leans more to grime than glitz, which
actually serves the film well, sort of paying homage to the working
class roots of the main players. The sound track, picked by the likes
of Paul Weller, is excellent.
It's not all it can be, mainly because plotting and writing is too
weak. But it has great moments of levity and vitality (watching those
kids dance is a real treat), to ensure it's enjoyable and never dull.
Tags for SoulBoy Full Movie
, Brennan Reece
, Brian McCardie
, Bruce Jones
, Craig Parkinson
, Danielle Henry
, Felicity Jones
, Hannah Crighton
, Honra Shirley
, Huey Morgan
, Jo Hartley
, Martin Compston
, Nichola Burley
, Pat Shortt
, Vortre Williams
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