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Friday, March 23, 2007

Indie Pick O' The Day: The Commitments

Well not quite, they're Irish. The Commitments centers around a soul group in Ireland trying to make it big. Yup a soul band. In IRELAND! The group starts out as the brainchild of its manager Jimmy Rabbitte to bring soul music to Ireland. To him soul music is the expression of raw sex, sensuality, and freedom. The blacks in America expressed themselves that way when being oppressed during Civil rights. He felt as young Dubliners this was the best way to express themselves and do something different than what everyone else was trying to do.

He gathers a gaggle of young musicians and singers plus a seasoned "veteran" Joey "The Lips" Fagan a trumpet player who claims to have worked with soul great Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, and Sam Cooke just to name a few. They have a rocky start learning to play together as a band, getting venues to play at, and seeking an audience, but then get a strong local following.

When they start to have some sort of small success, they start to have internal problems in the band. The lead singer Deco's ego starts to balloon out of control. The girls who are the back up singers start to fight because they discover they are all sleeping with Joey. Jimmy gets angry at the sax player Dean as he becomes more engrossed in Jazz. So the band doesn't have a storybook ending, but that is what makes the movie that much more believable and poetic. Plus the movie has some great music. Just watch!!

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