This story starts when an enterprising, undaunted
North Dubliner youth, Jimmy Rabbitte (Robert Arkins), comes up
with an inspiring idea of putting a 1960's soul classic music
band together, when two young struggling musicians ask him to
manage their careers. To add to this newly formed group, the audience
is treated to a hilarious audition process, as all types of aspiring
musicians answer the Rabbitte newspaper ad, traipse into the Rabbitte
family household, where Jimmy lives with his parents, 3 sisters
and a brother. Finally, a talented but rough nucleus of music-loving
youth, with aspirations of escaping the poverty & drudgery
of their lives through music, start their life-changing experience.
After getting some needed sound equipment from a shady neighborhood
black market dealer, a drum set from the pawn shop, and borrowing
granny's piano, the group starts rehearsals.
The screenplay, based on Roddy Doyle's book,
'The Commitments', is a humorous, enlightening masterpiece, exploring
the growth and evolvement of the "Saviors of Soul,"
made up of a spirited group of Dublin's working class kids, who
make discoveries that change their lives forever. The working
class Irish culture is blended nicely into the scenes of the film,
opening one's outlook to another world across the ocean, in a
place quite different from America. Universally though, the film
in its entirety "goes to the heart of the hopes and dreams
that music brings to young people everywhere." - Alan Parker.
The talented cast was made up of talented, unknown
Irish actors/actresses, who really could play their instruments,
could sing, and reflected very well the "spirit and spunk
of the working class kids of Dublin's North Side," in their
various well-directed, nicely paced performances, individually
and their integrated ensemble work as well.
The members of the Commitments consist of a variety
of interesting characters, including their own, middle-aged musical
mentor, a trumpet player by the name of Joey "The Lips"
Fagan (Jonny Murphy), who spent many years on the road in America,
and claimed that he played with many superstars, from Elvis to
the Beatles. While the band greatly benefited from his musical
expertise and encouragement, he also causes mischief and jealousy
among members as he individually wins the affections of the three
beautiful Commitment-ettes, (Angeline Ball, Maria Doyle, &
Bronagh Gallagher) and thus becomes a mixed blessing to the group.
Deco Cuffe (Andrew Strong), a natural performer,
shows one and all his amazing talent of being able to "belt
out raw soul like a seasoned veteran." The other members
become annoyed and jealous that someone so talented can be so
obnoxious, annoying, unruly, and full of himself. Deco clashed
especially with the hot-headed drummer, Billy Mooney (Dick Massey),
who quit the band, forcing the band to hire wild man Mickah Wallace
(Dave Finnegan), who turned out to be a life saver.
Jimmy Rabbitte (Robert Arkins), is a natural
leader, with a lot of tenacity, determination, and the ability
to handle most of the difficult problems that happen in handling
a group of musicians; though he discovers that he has his hands
full with this lot. To keep his spirits up, he periodically interviews
himself, pretending he's being interviewed by a well-known Irish
TV/radio personality, Terry.
As their music progresses from being "painfully
bad," to "downright irresistible", they become
immensely popular, as their backstage relationships take a serious
nose-dive, that lead to the band's inevitable break -up; but not
before experiencing through their remarkable music, the life-changing
experience of seeing and feeling their dreams come true at each
of their wildly successful performances, which changes their life
expectations, boosts their confidence, which in turn elevates
them to another plain of thinking and living.
Favorite Scenes Include: The Audition Montage,
The Eat, Sleep, Breathe Soul sequence montage, The group's performances,
Family Interactions, The Interview Sequences, Rehearsals &
Where are They Now ending scenes.
Directed by: Alan Parker, Screenplay by: Dick
Clement and Ian La Frenais and Roddy Doyle - From Roddy Doyle's
novel. Music Supervisor: G. Mark Roswell.
Rated R: The language is described as "street
sharp, gutsy and true." There is one sexual situation, and
many Irish slang words that indicate sexual / off color situations.
Film is definitely meant for the over 17 crowd.