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Good Vibrations


Stars: Richard Dormer, Jodie Whittaker, Michel Colgan, Dylan Moran, Liam Cunningham

Director: Lisa Barros d'Sa, Glenn Leyburn

Thumpingly toe-tapping music runs through this tribute to one-eyed Terri Hooley (Dormer), Belfast's 'Godfather of Punk', who, in the midst of the prolonged 'Troubles' there, bought a first-floor record shop and called it Good Vibrations.

Originally a deejay, hard-drinking Hooley subsequently started a GV record label after enthusing over local groups, and took over a small nightclub, soon packed out every night. But Terri, alas, was no master of finance and the despair of his part-time accountant Dave (Colgan) and his long-suffering wife Ruth (Whittaker), his 'empire' teetering on the brink of financial collapse several times over the next few decades, while remaining a non-political beacon of something to do for Belfast youth other than shooting at each other.

Stopped by British forces as his musician-stuffed van careers through the countryside on the way to another gig, Hooley, asked if they're Catholics or Protestants, replies that he's never asked them.

Even though they could have surely found him a better wig, the film's a tour-de-force for Dormer, visually Belfast's answer to Robin Williams - although not much else; his ups and downs in trying to sell his bands do go on rather a long time, and other performances, apart from Whittaker and Karl Johnson (Tipper from TV's Lark Rise to Candleford) don't amount to much.

David Quinlan

UK/Ireland 2013. UK Distributor: The Works. Technicolor.
101 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 1, Swearing 3.

Review date: 25 Mar 2013