The Commitments: A Tale of Music & Dreams

The Commitments band

If you’re a fan of music and have never seen The Commitments, then you’re in for a real treat. This 1991 film, directed by Alan Parker and based on the novel by Roddy Doyle, is a must-see for any music lover. Set in Dublin, Ireland, the film follows a group of working-class individuals who come together to form a soul band. Here’s a closer look at why The Commitments is worth your time.

The Storyline: Following Your Dreams

The Commitments tells the story of Jimmy Rabbitte, a young man with a passion for music who decides to form a soul band in Dublin. He holds auditions and recruits a group of talented musicians, but the road to success is not an easy one. The band struggles to find gigs and gain recognition, and internal conflicts threaten to tear them apart. But despite the obstacles, Jimmy and his bandmates are determined to follow their dreams and make it big.

The Music: Soulful and Authentic

One of the standout features of The Commitments is its music. The film’s soundtrack is filled with soulful and authentic renditions of classic songs such as “Mustang Sally,” “Try a Little Tenderness,” and “In the Midnight Hour.” The performances are so good that you’ll forget you’re watching actors and not a real band. The film’s music was so popular that it spawned a successful soundtrack album and a touring band.

The Cast: A Talented Ensemble

The cast of The Commitments is made up of a talented ensemble of actors and musicians. The film’s lead, Robert Arkins, is convincing as Jimmy Rabbitte, the band’s ambitious and charismatic leader. The supporting cast includes musicians such as Andrew Strong, Glen Hansard, and Bronagh Gallagher, who all give authentic and impressive performances. The chemistry between the cast members is palpable, and their interactions feel genuine and heartfelt.

The Setting: Dublin, Ireland

The Commitments is set in Dublin, Ireland, and the city plays a significant role in the film. The city’s working-class neighborhoods provide the backdrop for the film’s story, and the film’s characters are shaped by their environment. The city’s music scene is also prominently featured, and the film showcases the vibrant and diverse musical culture of Dublin.

The Themes: Dreams, Identity, and Community

At its core, The Commitments is a film about following your dreams, finding your identity, and building a sense of community. The film’s characters are all searching for something, whether it’s success, acceptance, or a sense of purpose. Their journey is not an easy one, but they find strength and support in each other, and through their music, they find a way to express themselves and connect with others.

The Legacy: A Classic Film

Since its release in 1991, The Commitments has become a classic film and a cultural touchstone. It has been praised for its authentic portrayal of working-class life in Dublin and its celebration of soul music. The film’s music has been covered by countless artists, and its impact can still be felt in the music world today. The film’s success also helped launch the careers of several of its cast members, including Glen Hansard, who went on to win an Academy Award for his work in the film Once.

In conclusion, The Commitments is a film that should be on every music lover’s must-watch list. Its soulful music, talented cast, and authentic portrayal of Dublin make it a standout film that has stood the test of time.

Last updated April 14, 2023.

About the Author

Dave Donnelly
Meet Dave Donnelly, a passionate Irishman with an insatiable love for music, TV, fishing, and exploring the stunning countryside of Ireland. A native of the Emerald Isle, Dave has an inherent appreciation for the rich cultural traditions and natural beauty of his homeland.