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Northern Soul

Where to Watch Northern Soul

PG-13
2015

Northern Soul is a 2014 coming-of-age, drama film directed by the talented Elaine Constantine looking back to her childhood and the time of change. Set in the mid-1970s, the setting is Lancashire, England, depicting the rise of an underground youth culture phenomenon called 'Northern Soul'. The film offers an immersive and authentic cinematographic journey back in time, transporting viewers to the North of England during a time of sociopolitical tension, rebellion, and a search for self-expression through music.

The narrative centers on John Clark, portrayed by Elliot James Langridge, a seemingly typical teenager who struggles with feelings of isolation and urban decay in his home town. He finds solace in American soul music and his developing friendship with Matt, a character played by the ever-capable Josh Whitehouse. Together the duo forms an unlikely bond over their shared love for this distinctive music genre, Northern Soul, which originated from the African American community and was gaining popularity in the seventies' British club scene.

The character of Matt, charismatic and brash, introduces John to the lively Northern Soul's underground world. This subculture was known for its all-night dance parties where DJs spun American soul records that were extremely rare and hard to find. Amidst the energetic and freeing movements on the dance floors, the boys discover a sense of belonging and purpose that they yearned for in their otherwise mundane lives.

Steve Coogan perfectly captures the role of the boys' boss, who embodies the slick, detached cynicism of the time. Coogan further deepens the film's narrative sharpness, bringing a veteran's skill to his character portrayal that makes a profound impact. His interplay with Langridge and Whitehouse adds another intriguing dimension to the story.

Co-starring is the talented Antonia Thomas, who plays Angela, a young, strong-willed woman ahead of her time. She is the object of John's affection and is one of the few characters who recognizes the limitations of the Northern Soul scene. Strong and independent, she challenges John to question and re-evaluate his life choices, adding an essential element of contrast and conflict to the narrative.

The story of Northern Soul is a fresh and compelling exploration of a period and a subculture that's rarely portrayed in cinema. It is not only a portrait of a bygone era but also an examination of youthful desire, friendship, love, and finding oneself amid the throes of rebellion against the constraints of societal norms.

A notable highlight of Northern Soul is its astonishingly detailed soundtrack which powerfully encapsulates the time, place, and emotion. Immersive dance scenes backed by high-tempo tracks transport viewers into this vibrant and unique subculture, giving the film a visceral energy that’s hard to resist.

Equally notable is the film's striking visual style. Through Constantine's vivid direction and Richard Stoddard's cinematographery, the movie beautifully captures the grim aesthetic of the post-industrial north, juxtaposing it with the vibrant energy of the Northern Soul movement's pulsating dancefloors.

The performances across the board are commendable. Langridge embodies the spirit of youth, vulnerability, and revolt with remarkable ease, while Whitehouse anchors his role with charm and presence. Thomas delivers a gutsy performance, and Coogan plays his part with suitable gravitas. This fantastic assembly of talents brings to life a narrative that is both unique and universal in its appeal.

In conclusion, Northern Soul is a passionate homage to a forgotten era, a cultural movement, and the transformative power of music. The film resonates with nostalgia, capturing the essence and influence of the Northern Soul movement on the lives of ordinary young individuals who sought refuge in its captivating rhythms. Besides being a period piece, Northern Soul delivers a timeless message about the search for identity, escapism through music, and the power of friendship and love. It is a tribute to the spirit of youth, rebellion, and resilience. With its attention to detail, strong performances, and evocative storytelling, Northern Soul forms an essential cinematic experience for those passionate about culture, history, music, and the intense emotions of youth.

Northern Soul is a Music, Drama movie released in 2015. It has a runtime of 99 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.3. It also holds a MetaScore of 64.

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Where can I stream Northern Soul movie online? Northern Soul is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon, Google Play. Some platforms allow you to rent Northern Soul for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

6.3/10
64/100
Director
Elaine Constantine
Stars
Elliot James Langridge, Antonia Thomas, Steve Coogan
Genres
Also starring Elliot James Langridge
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