Hear My Song comes to DVD

Sunday, 12 July 2009 14:30

If you like music to be a character of its own in a film, if you like plenty of arty camera shots, if you like Ireland, the Irish and its landscapes, then this is the film for you. “Hear My Song”, from director Peter Chelsom, is one of those feel good films that you think would have your toes curling, instead your toes will be tapping to the glorious tunes that are continual throughout.

It tells the tale of Micky O'Neill (Adrian Dunbar) and his search for legendary Irish tenor Josef Locke, who was exiled from the UK due to differences of opinion with the Inland Revenue. Micky is desperate to prove himself to the girl he loves, played by Tara Fitzgerald, that he is not useless and can make good on his promises. Micky is aided on his search of the Irish countryside by his friend Finton O'Donnell, played by a very young and barely recognisable James Nesbitt in one of his first screen roles.

Hear My Song on DVDNed Beatty plays Locke, portraying him as a complex, yet thoughtful man, who would perhaps have liked things to have turned out differently in the past. Beatty was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe for his performance

The cast is rounded out with a cameo appearance by David McCallum as a police chief who has spent much of his career trying to catch Locke for his tax crimes.

There is an underlying theme within the film of old meets new, past meets present and a general overlapping of eras. The music hall used as the setting for Locke’s glorious comeback is a mixture of glitz and dust in one room, a reminder of things past. The older characters appear to want to remember the past through rose tinted glasses and are reminded, frequently, that everything was not good in days gone by.

The songs, when they come are, as one would expect, wonderful. Beatty is dubbed by Vernon Midgely for Lockes songs which are full of emotion, expression and fun. You will not be able to help yourself from wishing you were there enjoying the music live. This is not a musical so the singing is in context with the narrative, so those of you who despise musical theatre do not have to be put off. Characters do not stop and have a jolly good sing for the sake of it. Although the music hall bouncers do have a little turn during one scene, but we will forgive them that as it is delightful and the music they do their little dance to is rather jolly.

The incidental music consists of intense Irish reels and mood dampening sombre pieces all arranged by John Altman.

This is not a biopic of Joseph Lockes life, more a ‘what if…’ film.  What if Joseph Locke were to be found and brought back to the UK for one more triumphant concert. Would he still draw the crowds like he used to, would he still be able to have women falling in love with him as soon as he begins to sing? Would the police be able to catch him?

It is a gentle and engaging look at people. There are plenty of wonderful background characters to be observed and enjoyed. The group of women who own the nightclub that Micky runs are a wonderful example of a matriarchal family. The only male amongst their number is a small boy who obediently sits cross legged on the floor when the ladies are invited to sit, making you wonder if the women would prefer Micky to be sat in a similar fashion.

Locke's band of friends are all characters in themselves, and the two dogs, Lockes Irish Wolfhound and later a small Whippet are just as engaging. You can almost see them trying to work out what all these humans are up to.

“Hear My Song” will introduce you to some wonderful music and some great songs. As with all music, if it is good and performed well you will enjoy it. The story is fun, without being complicated or over the top, and all the characters are interesting to watch.

This film can be enjoyed many times, and perhaps you will find yourself seeking out Joseph Lockes music to add to your collection.

“Hear My Song” is released on 27 July 2009, with a “15” certificate and a running time of 109 minutes. The RRP is £15.99 – or less from www.culttvstore.com

 

 

 

Last modified on Thursday, 10 May 2012 16:37

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