I had very low expectations going into the new Dexys film after all it was a film of a concert I had already seen live. Could that stretch to a 2 hour film – I mean what about plot, dialogue and narrative?
Maybe it was just that I had dragged Mrs Rikkit along knowing she would hate it and, well, either way I was full of apprehension.
Still, despite some confusion, the exclusive 7 inch single looked great and there were plenty of others who were willing to give Kevin Rowland and the gang a whirl.
The first thing that struck me was how comforting it was to hear Kevin talk about the history of the group, life and the importance of not compromising.
The second thing was how great the stage, the band and the performance looked. I have no idea what the styles were, but a range of hats, pointed 2 tone shoes and a whole range of brownish, yellowish and orangeish jackets and tops contrasted strikingly against the black dress and deep red lips of the female singer. The range of camera angles gave the performance more urgency and narrative than the live performance had and just really worked.
The film developed with the story of the band, Kevin’s life and the story of the performance all intertwined and moved the film along so it was never dull. As someone who has been regularly checking for the next Dexys move for the last 26 years, it was fascinating to hear from the horse’s mouth about why the void existed. It was also inspiring to hear how a true artist operates and learn that without the spark nothing happens (how that must be much more frustrating for them than I could ever appreciate), but then how redemption can come and the artist can find themselves come to terms with who they are and make great art once more. Perhaps the most important thing is that this story is real and it’s happening in front of your eyes. Plenty of times during the film I welled up and at other times my spine was tingling, It was a sheer joy.
Also, the live footage of the end of the concert was innovative and breathtaking.
Overall, this is an inspirational film that urges you all to follow your dreams, don’t ever give up, listen to your inner voice and you can find yourself, albeit it might take a few decades.
Mama Mia for the outsiders? I think so!