Title: Good Vibrations
Genre: Biography, Music
Lisa Barros D’Sa
This film is the 47th Karlovy Vary International film Festival (KVIIF) ’s opening film, a chronic biography about Terri Hooley, a key figure in Belfast’s punk-rock scene, from Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn, the director team of CHERRYBOMB (2009), but by and large, the film is just another middle-of-the-road sort from its genre, doesn’t quite stand out in any facet.
The film introduces a quite vintage palette to emphasize the milieu with footage superimpositions of the dark age (but the mission to evoke any collisions which underline the political scenarios at then has misfired here). A fatal underachievement is the utterly weak narrative arc, jumpy all the time but scarcely touches the chord of convincing compassion of the protagonist.
From a global scope, punk music has waned to its worst era since its genesis, we can actually claim that Punk is dead now, so the resonance may be curbed and fail to launch among the generation of Hip-Hop and Electro.
The music and songs are copious in the film and has indomitably eclipsed the story itself although Hooley is never an artist himself, he is the owner of the record-store “GOOD VIBRATIONS” and eventually becomes the godfather of Belfast’s punk music. Performance wise, a cipher Richard Dormer is praiseworthy in his breathing through leading role, his one-eyed mimicry is fine-drawn but impressive. Among the supporting group, Jodie Whittaker (from VENUS, 2006), Dylan Moran (from SHAUN OF THE DEAD, 2004), and a deadly talented Liam Cunningham are much bigger names but barely has any potential scenes to manifest themselves.
So, all in all as the opening film of a quite eminent international film festival, the film may be entertaining enough for those who has experienced the period of the particular time, but assessed by an outsider like myself, the fractured structure is clearly hampering the general filmic comprehension and the outcome has been a bit underwhelmed.