Magazine article Commonweal

Hear My Song

Magazine article Commonweal

Hear My Song

Article excerpt

Peter Chelsom, the writer-director of the new Irish comedy, Hear My Song, doesn't have to keep his feet on the ground. He's a cloudwalker of the utmost agility. It's no use detailing his movie's plot, for the script is a piece of deliberate nonsense about a young concert promoter's search for a famous tenor who has become a recluse after a traumatic brush with the law. After some mishaps on the road, the hero's sidekick mutters, "We're in a shaggy dog story." Indeed, so is the movie's audience but such is the powerful gaiety of Chelsom's direction that it would take a very dull and overly rationalistic creature to wish himself anywhere else while watching this giddy pipedream.

Chelsom's style is hard to describe because it reconciles so many opposites. His way of staging pub brawls and hijinks is so corny that I'm tempted to think that Chelsom has simply seen too many John Ford movies. Yet he is also capable of staging a slapstick scene, involving a cow and the deepest well in Ireland, that incorporates so many colliding elements of farce, fantasy, and downright terror that you don't know whether to laugh or rise screaming from your seat or do both simultaneously.

There has not been a comedy director since Keaton who has dared to allow as much beauty of landscape and climate into his work as Chelsom has because scenic beauty gorgeously photographed tends to distract the viewer from whatever is funny, but Chelsom, like Keaton, manages to make the very beauty of the backgrounds part of the film's humor. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.