The Sapphires: Soul and R&B from Australia to Vietnam!

Source : SIFY
Last Updated: Fri, May 17, 2013 13:42 hrs

Director: Wayne Blair

Cast: Chris O'Dowd, Deborah Mailman, Jessica Mauboy, Shari Sebbens, Miranda Tapsell

Release Date: 9 August 2012

There comes an evening when there's nothing you want more than to plonk down and watch a genuinely good movie. Not the blockbusters, not the ones with the big names - but one that serves you a slice of life.

If it's got a touch of history, good. If it's got music, awesome. If it's a true story, even better! The Sapphires is one such film.

It's not often that we get a movie set in Australia featuring aboriginals singing country music! That by itself is irresistible bait.

And when you do bite, you're transported to Australia 1968 where three sisters (Gail, Julie, Cynthia) are trying to break into the all-white music scene. At one of their attempts at a small pub, their fantastic vocals reforms alcoholic, down-and-out musician Dave Lovelace and bags them a band manager who puts them on the path of Soul.

Julie, the youngest of the lot and the one with the best voice, has a grand vision - an advert inviting singers to entertain American troops in Vietnam. With a bit of cajoling and arm-twisting, the girls, the new band manager and a long-lost cousin are on their way to Saigon.

The rehearsals - complete with power dynamics of voice, age and colour (white manager, part-aboriginal part-white cousin) - make for a medley of laughter and insight into Australia's racial tension set to the background of R&B and Soul superhits such as Who's Loving You, What A Man, Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch and many more.

The second half of the film sees the girl band, The Sapphires, realise their dreams. It's a rollercoaster of emotions ranging from tasting success, romantic flings, empowerment to being racked with sobs on coming face-to-face with the victims of war.

But this movie is essentially about music. Their repertoire strikes a chord at every venue they go - a medical camp filled with patients in bloody bandages missing limbs, soldiers clustered around a barbecue, a field of full of battle-weary men in need of something to cheer.

The performances are credible. Chris O'Dowd as Dave Lovelace the manager, has you crushing on him thanks to his rocking keyboard solos and goofy ways.

Deborah Mailman's Gail as the eldest sister having trouble easing up on the reigns, is simply kick-ass.

Jessica Mauboy's Julie and lead singer of The Sapphires is a powerhouse behind the mic!

Miranda Tapsell's feisty Cynthia brings in the oomph and many laughs. Shari Sebbens as Kay warms up to you as the girl who feels the tug of two races.

The supporting cast is just as fab - Don Battee as Myron the smooth-talking band promoter, Gregory J Fryer as the indulgent dad of the three girls, Kylie Belling as the mother who bequeathed the passion for music, and Lynette Narkle as the all-knowing all-accepting grandmother.

Watch The Sapphires for a slice of history that comes with a big helping of humour and an incredible soundtrack.

The Sify Movie Club brings you films that you must revisit, films that skipped a release at our theatres, films that you just can't miss.

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