Film Review: “Northern Soul” (2014) ★★★★


Big dreams are always worth fighting through hardships to make them come true. But meantime, there is no point even wasting your time on it if one day you will turn your way towards a different direction that will make you leave all your hard work behind. With all that said, Northern Soul follows two friends, John Clark (Elliot James Langridge) and Matt (Josh Whitehouse), who are part of a youth culture in the 1970s. After discovering the black American soul music, the two start dreaming big to go to America to become one of the best DJs on the Northern Soul scene, but instead, find trouble, violence and drug abuse. And it’s all filled with beautiful music that will make you concentrate not only on the characters, but on the songs as well, making this film a joyful experience to watch.

Northern Soul is the directorial debut of Elaine Constantine who takes an interesting approach in developing of characters. Once the film begins, we find John Clark in the school or at work, and almost never happy. His world turns upside down when he meets enigmatic and energetic Matt (Josh Whitehouse) who has already disappeared in the beautiful and magnetic world of American soul music. From that moment on, being stunned by Matt, his dances and the way he enjoys music, John, who already has a musical talent joins him to pursue a dream of becoming one of the best DJs. However, the world of fantasy ends quickly when the friends find themselves more involved in trouble rather than music….

As the film progresses, John and Matt are becoming best friends, however, it seems the music they are so in love with is what makes them define themselves. However, inability to interpratate the real direction music can bring, the two have to decide what is more important for them: dream, friendship or actually staying alive? These all can certainly be read from the characters you see on the screen. But the most fascinating and impressive part of the film is how Constantine concentrates equally on character study and the music, where the music, of course, dominates more. She realizes the importance of talking with the viewer through the music, and allows the same to John and Matt, who more and more get immersed in the world of beautiful music.

In conclusion, Northern Soul has everything to engage not only the young audience, but the adult as well, offering the best possible combination of music and acting, which will make you sing throughout the film. Both Elliot James Langridge and Josh Whitehouse are spectacular, delivering a performance you could not wish for more. The entire film is absolutely fun, entertaining, and unforgettable. Directing approach is great and right to the point leaving absolutely no gaps or chance to complain about. And why should we if it delivers exactly what was intended?

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