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    Film Review - Sunshine on Leith

    Sunshine on Leith
    Taking its cue from the hit stage production of the same name, Sunshine on Leith combines hard-hitting reality with the songs of Scottish band The Proclaimers to produce a moving and poignant musical.

    Following the stories of soldiers Davy (George Mackay) and Ally (Kevin Guthries) as they return home from service, the issues and problems encountered as they try to settle back into life are dealt with sensitively and beautifully by director Dexter Fletcher. Coming to terms with their experiences and the recovery of their friend Robbie after a roadside attack at the beginning of the film, Sunshine on Leith is a reminder that friends and family are treasures that give us hope even in the bleakest of situations.

    The casting of Mackay and Guthries as Davy and Ally was the perfect choice for these lovable and cheeky Scottish lads. Their duet down the streets of Leith as they chant “I’m on my way from misery to happiness today” is testament to the comradery and chemistry between the two characters throughout the film; sung with gusto, passion and voices that blend perfectly with one another. Whilst Davy and Ally adapt back to 9-5 working life, the story introduces themes common in everyday life including settling down and sustaining a marriage. Whilst Ally considers settling down with his girlfriend (who also happens to be Davy’s sister!), Davy’s parents (Peter Mullan and Jane Horrocks) celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary.

    Peter Mullan is sensational as guilt-ridden husband Rab who even in relationship troubles can brighten the situation with his quick wit. Watch out for a rather hilarious scenario where Rab tries to decide on the perfect meal to say sorry - I’m sure it’s a situation that a lot of people can relate to! Of course the musical element of the film cannot go unmentioned. Combining the folk stylings of the Proclaimers’ back catalogue, including the infamous ‘500 miles’, the performances add subtle emotion to the already established back stories of the characters without going too far over the top. Even if you are not usually a fan of musicals, the songs in Sunshine on Leith are a lighthearted addition that compliment the lighter and darker moments of the story. Plus they’re great to sing along to.

    A truly brilliant film adaptation that can be both hilarious and upsetting at the same time, Sunshine on Leith is not to be missed. You don’t need to go 500 miles to see one of the best films of the year so far...

    SARAH O’ HARA

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