Sunshine On Leith

by Patrick O’Connor

IF you’ve ever been to Scotland then you will know that The Proclaimers, brothers Charlie and Craig Reid, are a massively popular band there, as well as worldwide.

Their best known songs include ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles), ‘Letter from America’ and ‘Sunshine On Leith’.

And it is the latter song which provides the title for this feel-good musical about two recently-discharged soldiers, Davy and Ally, who return to their families in Edinburgh after a tour in Afghanistan.

The film is based on a stage musical of the same name which features songs by The Proclaimers.

Personally, I’m not a great fan of musicals but the clever way director Dexter Fletcher weaves songs into the narrative cannot fail to grab your attention.

There are are trials and tribulations along the way, Ally’s girlfriend (Davy’s sister), dumps him, Davy falls for his sister’s best friend Yvonne and Davy’s parents’ 25th wedding anniversary celebrations are shattered by a startling revelation from his father’s past.

But you always get the feeling that everything will turn out all right in the end and the film does this unashamedly.

So much so, that when the finale is staged to the background of a flash mob performance of ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) in the centre of Edinburgh, you are itching to get up on your feet and join in.

All the songs are performed by an impressive cast of largely unknown actors and for Proclaimers fans, there is a (blink and you’ll miss it) appearance by the brothers in a brief cameo.