The Commitments Reviews
These are, in a way, misfits, but they aren't played throughout as a band of misfits: they are good at what they do and they don't take long to gel with one another. The idea that seams far-fetched from the beginning that seems over these guys' heads actually becomes a reality. Some band members have ideas about soul and rock' n roll that are contrary to others' ideas, putting one more wedge into this potentially volatile mix of irregular musicians.
Alan Parker is one of the finest directors of all time, generating a mix of whimsical charm with violence and poetry, as well as satire and music in his films; Parker has a wide range of genres under his belt. This is one of his best.
Roddy Doyle, author of the 1987 novel, praised the film, stating that Parker and the filmmakers did a "terrific job". Variety magazine called the film "well-executed and original", praising the performances, and the editing by Gerry Hambling.Jonathan Rosenbaum of the Chicago Reader wrote, "If [Parker] can't resist the occasional fancy or cutesy flourishes ... that tend to compromise his work, he still allows his material to exist on its own level and makes it fun to watch." Hal Hinson of The Washington Post wrote that the film was "a deadly funny movie; nearly every scene is broken off with a punch line. But Parker's sense of comedy is organic; he never lets the jokes elbow the characters, or the music, out of the spotlight." Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times wrote, " ... Parker has loosened up quite a bit here, not forcing the action as much as he did in the similar Fame and bringing a surprisingly loony touch to characters like Jimmy's Elvis-obsessed father." Time magazine reviewer Richard Corliss wrote, "The film offers no message, no solutions, only a great time at the movies." Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote, " ... the movie is filled with life and energy, and the music is honest." On the syndicated television program Siskel & Ebert At the Movies, Ebert gave the film a "Thumbs Up" rating, while his colleague, Gene Siskel, gave the film a "Thumbs Down". Siskel, writing for the Chicago Tribune, stated that the film was "a joyful but empty mixture of Irish kids and black American soul music". Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly criticized the overall premise as being "downright insulting", explaining, "In Parker's hands, soul music becomes little more than a self-serving metaphor - an easy symbol for 'commitment' and integrity. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone wrote, " ... the predictable way in which the band's nine men and three women argue about music, sex and fame robs the story of urgency." Janet Maslin of The New York Times stated, "The Commitments becomes repetitive after a while, since so much of it is about the group's stage show, and since the effort to create an off-stage story never really works." David Denby of New York Magazine wrote the film has "a raspy surface authenticity and a great deal of affection for its characters and milieu but not much dramatic interest."
When "The Commitments" came out in 1991 it truly made an impact on me, both story wise and music wise. Alan Parkers bunch of real life musicians with more or less no acting to their cv:s manage to enlighten all the characters in such a believable way and what we get to see is a fine ensemble piece despite some wobbly acting every once in a while during the film. Andrew Strong as the lead singer Deco, who was only 16 when the film was made, stands out with his amazing voice, but the rest of The Commitments manage as well to add life, music and layers to the story. The setting of a working class Northern Dublin feels realistic and the environments becomes a vital part of the film. But, the main star is of course all the great Dublin soul we get to see and hear in the film that is of high class, which spawned two hugely successful soundtrack albums you never get tired of. I reckon I could go on forever in my review, but I will let the film speak for itself. See it if you haven´t or re-see it if you have.
Wonderfully funny and entertaining with a fantastic soundtrack
Great plot, based on a book by Roddy Doyle, showing how the average band forms and develops and the internal turmoil. Wonderful dialogue and scenes - incredibly funny, with quotable lines coming thick and fast.
However, the thing that tips the movie over from great to masterpiece is the music. Fantastic music, well made and produced with some great concert scenes to add to the vibe.
Performances from a cast of then-unknowns are spot-on. Great casting, as director Alan Parker would have been going out on a limb with many of them.
Wonderfully vibrant and funny, yet profound, movie.
Las actuaciones son más que correctas, pero sin duda la palma se la llevan Robert Artkins y Johnny Murphy. La fotografía retrata esplendidamente el Dublín de la época. Y la música es poco menos que exquisita.
Un "must see" para los melómanos.
An original story set in bleak hard-times, and how a few people pull together to form a band thru personal struggles, rookie mistakes and only scrapping to compensate for naivety.
The rewards they get for their efforts are great music and fiery, cohesive performances that culminate into this uplifting, hilarious, unusually unforgettable American soul music send up from an unusual place - Ireland.
And magically, it works perfectly - firing on all cylinders.
Enjoy this foul-mouthed romp of scrappy performances, glorious 60s soul music, and a well crafted story that brings it all together.
I'd have loved to see the band of actors who took to touring,
based on the success of their movie.
4 out of 5 James-Brown-style Shouts