Film Night Friday #8: Killing Bono (15)

So in honour of St Patrick’s Day, I bring you the story of the second-best band in Dublin.

So grab your veg chow mein with egg-fried rice and dim the lights; it’s time for Film Night Friday.

This music-based comedy follows Dublin teenagers Neil and Ivan McCormick in their attempt to become rock stars but as with all good stories, there has to be an obstacle for them to overcome. That obstacle is Paul Hewson aka Irish music-legend Bono.

In the late 1970s, the McCormick brothers are starting their own punk band, Shook Up, with dreams of global superstardom while old school friends U2 are doing the same except with a lot more success.

With every show U2 play, Neil (Ben Barnes) can feel his chance slipping away and the straw that broke the camel’s back comes when Bono (Martin McCann) offers Ivan (Robert Sheehan) the chance to be in the rapidly rising U2 but Neil rejects the offer on his brother’s behalf.

The emotional crux of the storyline comes when Ivan discovers this and realises that his brother’s jealously stood between him and the life he could have had.

This movie showcases how Barnes has developed as an actor since his first feature film, Stardust and the chemistry between the on-screen brothers makes you forget you’re just watching a movie. It also features a hilarious last performance from the late Pete Postlethwaite as camp landlord, Karl.

This ‘true-ish story of two brothers who were nearly better than the real thing’ is based on Neil McCormick’s memoir ‘Killing Bono: I Was Bono’s Doppelgänger’.

 

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