Film Review: THE COMMITMENTS 25th Anniversary Special Edition

The Commitments 25th Anniversary Special Edition
It’s fair to say that THE COMMITMENTS is a cult classic. Alan Parker’s 1991 hit film about the tumultuous rise and fall of a Dublin Soul band is arguably one of the greatest films in the last 50 years, winning four BAFTA awards including Best Direction (Alan Parker) and Best Film.

For those who haven’t seen the film, THE COMMITMENTS tells the story of Jimmy Rabbitte (Robert Arkins), an unemployed wheeler and dealer who decides to create a rock-and-roll soul band. With the help of two musician friends, Outspan Foster (Glen Hansard) and Derek Scully (Ken McCluskey), Jimmy holds open auditions from his parents’ home, gathering together ten musicians and singers the rough streets of working-class Dublin. But the closer the group get to hitting it big, the more their egos begin to get in the way, leaving their manager Jimmy to try and hold the group together.

Funny, musical and highly entertaining, THE COMMITMENTS is an enduring and timeless Irish classic about the life of a band. Parker used predominately untrained actors in the film, resulting in an honest rawness to the performances, with Robert Arkins as Jimmy Rabbitte in particular standing out in his big-screen debut. This feels like a film about real people going through real experiences and despite its loose narrative, there is some clever writing, snappy honest dialogue and some quirky musical scenes.

But what really makes THE COMMITMENTS so special is its wall-to-wall soundtrack. Featuring covers of soul classics by Sir Mack Rice, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, The Marvelettes, and Wilson Pickett, there is a rawness and energy to the musical sequences, making it a not only joy to not only watch but also listen to.

The 25th Anniversary DVD and Blu Ray Special Edition has given the film some noticeable restoration. Despite being twenty-five years old, the film looks young and refreshed with restoration in both sound and picture. Love and attention has also been paid to the DVD/Blu Ray special features with plenty of extras to keep fans entertained including audio commentary with the director Alan Parker, four featurettes including all-new interviews with the cast and crew, a music video, production stills, behind-the-scenes stills and a collectible booklet.

If you’re a fan of the film, you’re sure to enjoy the 25th Anniversary Special Edition DVD and Blu Ray release of THE COMMITMENTS. An enjoyable re-release of a cult classic.

4 out of 5 stars

THE COMMITMENTS – 25TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION is released on DVD & Blu-ray on 19 September 2016.