Last night I watched a film called Duets which I bought as a DVD mainly because it was about singing (something I kind of like!) and had the music of Huey Lewis in it.
Actually it turned out that Huey Lewis was acting in the film, now he really does send me “back in time” in a good way. I remember sweeter, easier days when the ‘Back to the Future’ film came out – the first one – and we all danced in the car to my cassette tape playing, ‘Hip to be Square’ by Huey Lewis and the News.
So I thought I would give this film a go and I was not disappointed. It was thought provoking and moving. Now, there has been a run of feel- good , uplifting singing films these past few years such as ‘Quartet’, ‘Pitch Perfect’ and ‘Song for Marion’ where we see how music brings people together in union, giving courage and a sense of real satisfaction . Singing together changes the lives of the characters for the better and we get that aahh factor.
Well, ‘Duets’ is different in that it is fairly gritty in its content with characters that we don’t easily warm to – they’re not cuddley – and it is sad, it doesn’t leave us feeling any kind of exhilaration like other ‘singing’ films can. What Duets does is portray a selection of lost souls who all find comfort in singing Karaoke in tacky American bars. For some they are only true to themselves when they are on stage, for others it is a rush to perform to an audience of strangers , like a drug, and for some it’s a release from their troubles, a time to switch off.
I found the change in the characters fascinating after they had taken the courage to get up on stage to perform. It wasn’t the audience appreciation itself that gave them the buzz, it was the process of singing, being dramatic on stage and being told that that was okay, to be free with your expression. On stage, they felt wanted , that’s what the audience gave to them which is different from non performance singing, but it was the singing itself that I saw giving the real positive change for all the characters. So titled ‘Duets’, it is the Duets that are sung which give the heart -warming moments and the times we see smiles on faces including our own.
That’s my review, worth a view.