Wednesday, 8 September 2010

SoulBoy (The List, Issue 666)

Low budget Irish filmmaker Shimmy Marcus makes a bid for the mainstream with this formulaic but crowd-pleasing teen drama. It’s 1974, and bored teenager Joe’s (Martin Compston) life is transformed when he pursues unattainable ice-queen Jane (Nichola Burley) to a night at Wigan Casino and discovers the exploding Northern Soul dance scene. On the same night he bumps into Mandy (Felicity Jones), a childhood friend who still holds a torch for Joe. Throw in Alan (Craig Parkinson), Jane’s dance-floor king – and prize tool – boyfriend, and the stage is set for a comfortably predictable story of heartbreak and hip-swivelling.

The script by first-time writer Jeff Williams is workmanlike, but Compston, moving confidently away from his usual Glasgow hard-man persona into likeable leading-man territory, gives SoulBoy a warmth and energy that is irresistible. Jones plays the cute girl-next-door with the same charm and appeal she demonstrated in Cemetery Junction, and Burley, last seen strutting her stuff in Streetdance 3D, works wonders with a thankless, one-dimensional role. It all ends with a dance-off that’s as cheesy as it is uplifting, but SoulBoy’s heart is in the right place.


Soulboy is on selected release. Check for details. This review first published in The List magazine.

No comments:

Post a Comment