Watch Northern Soul
- 1 hr 39 min
Northern Soul is a 2014 British drama film written by acclaimed screenwriter, playwright and author, Debbie Horsfield, directed by Elaine Constantine and produced by Debbie Gray. The film is set in 1974 and follows the story of two teenage boys from the fictional town of Widnes in Cheshire, Matt (played by Elliot James Langridge) and John (Joshua Whitehouse), who discover Northern soul while searching for a sense of identity and belonging amidst the bleakness of the post-industrial North West of England.
The film is a nostalgic look at the northern soul music and dance scene of the 1970s, a subculture that emerged from the Mod movement and was characterized by its passionate love of soul music, in particular the more obscure and lesser-known tracks from the 1960s and 1970s, as well as its distinctive fashion style and dance moves. Northern soul was a way of life for many young working-class people, for whom the music was a form of escape from the drudgery of factory work and the bleakness of life in the North.
Matt and John are both outsiders in their own way. Matt is a shy and socially awkward kid who is bullied at school and struggles to connect with his family. John is a rebellious and charismatic young man who has a troubled relationship with his father and dreams of escaping to London. They bond over their shared love of northern soul music and begin to attend all-night dance events (known as 'all-nighters') at the legendary Wigan Casino, where they find a community of like-minded people and a sense of belonging.
The film captures the energy and excitement of the northern soul scene, with its pulsating beats, frenetic dance moves and colourful fashion. But it also explores the darker side of the subculture, including drug use and gang violence. As Matt and John become more immersed in the scene, they begin to discover the seedy underbelly of the northern soul world, including the violent biker gangs who control the drug trade and the unscrupulous record dealers who exploit the passion of northern soul fans by selling them counterfeit records.
The film also features a strong supporting cast, including Steve Coogan as a disillusioned DJ who has lost his love for the music and Antonia Thomas as Lisa, a beautiful and independent young woman who captures Matt's heart. Coogan's character, known as Mr. Tony, serves as a cautionary tale of the downside of the northern soul scene, as he admits to feeling burned out and disillusioned by the pressure to keep up with the latest rare records and the demands of the all-nighter crowds.
Overall, Northern Soul is a heartfelt and authentic portrayal of a subculture that has become legendary in the annals of British music history. It celebrates the joy and passion of the northern soul scene, while also acknowledging its pitfalls and challenges. With its compelling characters, memorable soundtrack and vivid depiction of an iconic era in musical history, Northern Soul is a must-see for anyone who loves soul music and is interested in the cultural history of the North of England.
Northern Soul is a 2015 music movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 39 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.3 and a MetaScore of 64.