Film review: Sunshine on Leith

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More entertaining than predicting when the tram works might end and breezier than a high wind on Arthur’s Seat, Sunshine on Leith is the film Edinburghers have been waiting decades to see.

* * * * * *

Peter Mullan stars in Sunshine On Leith. Pic: Comp

Peter Mullan stars in Sunshine On Leith. Pic: Comp

As the film opens, we’re introduced to Davy (George MacKay) and Ally (Kevin Guthrie), two young squaddies on manoeuvres in Afghanistan. After an incident which leaves the pair disillusioned with army life, the action soon moves back to Edinburgh, swooping over the city’s skyline as the lads make their way back home.

Passing a few familiar landmarks – and two familiar musicians whose album inspired the film – on the walk to Leith, we’re soon into song and dance territory as the music of the Proclaimers is belted out by the leads.

A series of quick introductions – Freya Maver as Liz (Davy’s sister and Ally’s girlfriend), Antonia Thomas as Yvonne (Liz’s friend and Davy’s love interest) and Jane Horrocks and Peter Mullan as Davy and Liz’s mum and dad – sow the seeds for the various relationship issues which propel the film forward for the next 90 minutes.

Every emotion and break-up/reunion is punctuated by a song and dance number, with each cast member getting their moment to shine. Even gravel-voiced Peter Mullan has a go at Oh Jean and succeeds. Just.

A film to be seen with friends and the biggest audience you can find, Sunshine on Leith will have cinema audiences raising the roof across the Capital and should also be a hit everywhere else.