commitments

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commitments

THE COMMITMENTS

Set in Northern Dublin, Ireland, "The Commitments" features Jimmy Rabbitte, a young man fresh out of school and eager to start a "soul" band. But "soul" isn't exactly the sound of the times or local taste. Still, after several auditions, Jimmy finally assembles his band, and, with the help of three female back-ups, an amazingly energetic lead vocalist, and one aging trumpet player, the "The Commitments," work their way to celebrity status one song and pub at a time.. Of course, inevitable conflict and chaos ensues en route.

The cast includes: Robert Arkins, Michael Aherne, Angeline Ball, Maria Doyle, Dave Finnegan, Bronagh Gallagher, Felim Gormley, Glen Hansard, Dick Massey, Jonny Murphy, Kenneth McCluskey, and Andrew Strong.

Directed by Alan Parker.

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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.

If you enjoyed THE COMMITMENTS, you may like FLASHDANCE, BILLY ELLIOT, STILL CRAZY, THAT THING YOU DO, SAVE THE LAST DANCE, THE TURNING POINT, FAME, and WORKING GIRL.

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