Review for The Commitments 25th Anniversary
The Commitments tells the story of Jimmy Rabbitte's attempt to create a soul band in Dublin. He assembles a ragtag bunch of singers and players who are as combustible offstage as they can be on it, but once that music starts playing they play some of the best soul music around. But can Jimmy keep the band together long enough for them to get to the big time?
I have to start by saying I loved rewatching this film. There is a feeling that this film does for Soul, what The Blues Brothers did for Rhythm and Blues. However, I will openly admit I couldn't remember much of the film, remembering mostly the music and for good reason as even 25 years later it is still some of the best soul I have ever heard. It has always surprised me that the film didn't create a new Soul song as it would no doubt have won every Best Song award, but two Top Twenty Soundtrack Albums is nothing to sniff at. And despite not winning any Oscars it did go on to win the BAFTA for Film, Director, Screenplay and Editing.
Throughout this film, the comedy comes thick and fast and I found myself laughing at the one-liners and crazy scenarios more than any film. The audition at the beginning was just perfect and anyone who has sat through the worst of The X-Factor will appreciate the awfulness of some of these people, but it is comedy gold. You can really hear Roddy Doyle's book come through in the script and his work along with Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais is simply flawless.
If you are a fan of the movie then you will love the features available on this set. Two archive 'Making of' documentaries are a nice look at the creation of the film at the time and you can tell from these that this really was a project of love for Director Alan Parker.
The Commitments: Looking Back is a great retrospective look at the film. Almost everyone involved from Alan Parker, Roddy Doyle to many of the cast and it is all great to hear their views and feelings about the process and what comes across again is just how much people enjoyed working on the film from page to premier and beyond.
Dublin Soul looks at the music scene in Dublin at the time and how soul really influenced the area and the music that was being produced. This went on to inspire what the film became.
25 Years Later is a new look at the making of the film and again so warm and enjoyable to listen to everyone talking. I think this made all of these featurettes easy to sit through because there is no negatively towards making this film and when you watch the film back you can feel that even more.
Treat Her Right Music Video is a bit strange as it is not of the best songs from the film, yet it is good to see the band playing together. The Behind the Scenes and Production stills are two quick montages and show just how good the cast look as a band together.
The Commitments is a film that feels timeless. I don't know if this is because of the choice of music or simply because of how good it is. The cast are perfect and at times I do wish this had been a documentary about a real band as that's what it feels like. Everything is wonderful and if you are a fan of the film the extras are just perfect. It's not much of a commitment for me to recommend this as it is certainly a film everyone will enjoy.