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Vibrations causes barely a ripple

STEVE KILGALLON
Last updated 05:00 15/06/2014

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REVIEW: One-eyed Belfast record-store owner and music label boss Terri Hooley had a central role in developing the city's punk scene - and in particular, discovering The Undertones, who sang that joyful piece of brilliance, Teenage Kicks.

The film struck a chord in the UK, where the usually stone-hearted critic Mark Kermode confessed to bursting into tears when he saw what he considered the best film of 2013.

That it's been released here more than 12 months after its British opening rather hints at Good Vibrations' relevance or lack thereof to Kiwi audiences.

It takes the rather staid device of framing a chunk of recent history around one man's experience, even to the cliched extent of news-footage montages of the Troubles. That rather limits the storytelling, which, when it focuses on the good-natured Hooley's own tale, is engaging - particularly when he throws tantrums and bursts into tears at London record companies as he pleads The Undertones' case.

As a tale, it's a familiar rags-to-riches-to rags-to-happy medium story, but a rumpled Richard Dormer plays it well as the lead, Broadchurch's Jodie Whittaker pulls her weight as his wife, and the keen-eyed will notice an outing for droll Irish comic Dylan Moran in the support cast.

Good Vibrations (M) 100 mins ★★★

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