Dubbed as the feel good film of 2013, holder of several four and five star reviews and easily reaching out to audiences of all ages, I mysteriously avoided Sunshine on Leith during its cinema period. When I purchased the DVD earlier this year I realised what a mistake I had made. Sunshine on Leith, directed by Dexter Fletcher, is a delightful and joyous tale with tender heartbreak at its core.
When Davy and Ally return from their duty in Afghanistan they are welcomed home to Leith with open arms. Ally is in a relationship with Davy’s sister Liz; Liz thinks Davy would be the perfect match for her friend Yvonne. Meanwhile, parents Rab and Jean are planning a huge party to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. When an event from Rab’s past looms up in the present, it seems all three couples’ futures may be at risk. This is the story of hope and the power of love told through the music and lyrics of The Proclaimers.
The strong cast is headed by the superb Peter Mullan and the interlacing songs by The Proclaimers are executed with reasonable style and flair. Although I am a fan of musicals, I feel Sunshine on Leith suffers from spontaneous and therefore cheesy dialogue to song transitions. The best transition is perhaps featured in the upbeat ‘Then I Met You’ performed by the quarrelling young lovers Davy (George MacKay) and Yvonne (Antonia Thomas). Many of the songs are recognisable and catchy; the instrumentals playing throughout dialogue scenes are simply stunning.
Many interior shots were filmed in Glasgow with outdoor scenes featuring the iconic landmarks of Edinburgh. Fletcher has captured a beautiful portrait of the capital city of Scotland and in true style of the title of the film, not one drop of rain is visible in any frame thus creating the ultimate feel good Scottish musical.