Do you ever think about an event and know instinctively you would “walk 500 miles” to do it again? Or do you ever think about an event and just say to yourself “it’s over and done with”? Or perhaps you’ve decided you’re “on my way from misery to happiness today”? Well if any of those thoughts have ever crossed your mind then it’s time to see and fully appreciate Sunshine on Leith with music by the Proclaimers.
Set in Edinburgh, the story follows two soldiers, Ally and Davy, who have come back from Afghanistan to live in their hometown of Leith. It continues looking at how they re-accustom to their lives at home and their relationships. The four main tendrils of the film are the friendship between the boys and the relationships that develop between Davy and Yvonne, Ally and Liz, and Rab and Jean. It’s focus is correcting mistakes and never giving up. It’s focus is the importance of living life.
With a main theme of romance this film is bound to be a success with the girls. But it also looks at older relationships and how they are still as fragile as in the beginning. Additionally it takes a peek at friendship and the importance of trust. The accompanying music is beautifully edited and covered with a slower pace and quieter instrumentals often building in pace to mimic the Proclaimers edition.
Dexter Fletcher, famous for his acting, was the director that brought this musical from the stage to the set of a film. He manages to incorporate many of the aspects of the production in the film such as the dancing and the typical stage moments such as bursting into song with members of the public. This is a heart-warming feel-good film that really excellent for those cold nights.
Arguably this warmth could be due to the musical aspect of the film, but it is also due to the plot and the accompanying songs. The cast of Sunshine on Leith, George Mackay, Antonia Thomas, Kevin Guthrie, Freya Mavor, Peter Mullan and Jane Horrocks, are a musically gifted bunch who also speak in pretty darn good Scottish accents. Only 2 of the six leads are Scottish (see if you can guess who). But they all manage to copy the accent even whilst singing songs by the well known band, The Proclaimers.
The Proclaimers are a band consisting of Scottish twins who sang pop-folk music in the 80s and are applaudable for the songs “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)”, “I’m On My Way”, “Over and Done With” and “Let’s Get Married” (these are personal favourites). Their musical genius and accents create a memorable and popular soundtrack to films, additionally their albums are still being remastered.
Critics have called this is a cliche film. The happy friendships, the loving relationships, the ending being brought together with no loose ends and all finishing very tidily and nicely. However, this is a Rom-Com. If there were no soppy moments and no opportunities for grinning stupidly wide, what would be the point?
Genuinely, this is a film that lives up to its title, consistently (apart from the odd blips) this film is full of sunshine and happiness. Each and every event is flipped so it bursts with beams of light. The music is uplifting and beautifully sung. It’s optimistic. It’s a film where there is no shame at crying with happiness (I hope? Guys? Guys?)