Today I got to feel like a proper movie critic, I went to a press screening. This was up there with that time I was sent a DVD screener, so thank you DCA for inviting me! I was there to see Sunshine on Leith, the movie adaptation of Steven Greenhorn’s stage musical following two soldiers returning home from Afghanistan as they adapt to civilian and family life, all set to the music of that dynamic Scottish duo; The Proclaimers.
Davy and Ally, two friends on their way back from a tour of duty in the Middle East arrive back in their hometown of Edinburgh. As always in these situations, getting back into the swing of things isn’t as easy as it looks but the two of them have their family and friends to back them up. It’s not exactly the most convoluted plot, featuring three couples (Davy and Ally with their respective partners, and Davy’s parents) as they each go through their own trials and tribulations, but let’s be honest, you’re seeing it for the music as much as the story.
Segueing nicely there, the work of those two brothers from Leith lends itself to romance and storytelling, with so many of their songs fitting nicely into the fairly generic relationships we get to see. I’m not a huge fan of The Proclaimers, but the songs I did know I was humming along to, and those that I didn’t still had me tapping my feet. In the spirit of all good musicals, everything amps up to a big finale number which I thought was a fantastic way to end things, and there’s no way you’re going to leave the screening feeling miserable after that.
Looking more into the nitty-gritty of the film, I don’t think I’m going to surprise anyone by saying that this is no movie masterpiece, for it certainly has its flaws. But they are flaws you’re happy to overlook, as instead it focuses on creating characters you’d get along with if you met them in the pub, who are dealing with everyday issues which any of us might face. It made me laugh, and it made me smile, and for a few quid what more can you really ask for?
Apparently pre-sales at the cinema where I saw the film are already beating Skyfall and The Hobbit, and I’m glad of that. It’s nice to see a home-grown movie filled with local talent managing to bring in some real money at the box office. As a Dundonian I’m proud of the Dundee Rep for putting together the original play, and being able to see it up on the big screen makes me feel less bad about missing it on stage when it all started back in 2007! If you want a couple of hours of good fun then see this film, you’ll certainly enjoy yourself.
Sunshine on Leith is showing at the DCA from this Friday (the 4th) until the 17th of October.
Director: Dexter Fletcher
Writer: Stephen Greenhorn
Starring: George MacKay, Kevin Guthrie, Antonia Thomas, Freya Mavor, Peter Mullan & Jane Horrocks