Galway Film Fleadh 2012 Cinema Review: Good Vibrations

DIR: Lisa Barros D’Sa, Glenn Leyburn • WRI: Glenn Patterson, Colin Carberry • PRO: Andrew Eaton, Chris Martin • DES: Derek Wallace • DOP: Ivan McCullough • ED: Nick Emerson • Cast: Jodie Whittaker, Richard Dormer, Dylan Moran


The sold-out Town Hall Theatre rang out with Belfast-twanged whoops when this film was introduced – this being the first in the series of ups and downs that the screening would deliver.


A chronicle of Terri Hooley’s life, Good Vibrations is the tale of how one chancer/record-shop owner was an instrumental player in bringing the punk movement to Belfast. Terri (with one eye) grew up in Belfast and decided to open his shop, Good Vibrations, in Victoria Street, one of the most bombed streets in Belfast, during the height of the Troubles .


As well as being a hub for music buffs, Good Vibrations was also home to a record label which was for responsible for launching the career of bands such as The Undertones, Rudi, and The Outcasts. As Terri’s obsession with music grew his relationship with his remarkably tolerant wife started to fall apart, and he ended up in quite a bit of trouble.


After the credits rolled the real-life, and certainly larger than life, man himself graced the stage. Terri Hooley wowed us with a rowdy and touching speech, in which he included the fact at one point he had leave the cinema to have a cry –and of course a pint. Another thing his appearance definitely established was what an utterly fantastic job Richard Dormer did at portraying him on screen. His accent and mannerisms were eerily accurate. His charm and warmth on screen was a massive contrast to his performance in Jump, which graced the same screen the evening before.


A charming, uplifting alternative to the usual bleak portrayal of ’70s Belfast, Good Vibrations is a skillfully assembled film that really showcased a fantastic cast. The music is utalised perfectly and gives an exciting lift to the film, to the point where you’ll be bopping in your seat. For the most part the plot avoids the Cinematic Underdog clichés and just works perfectly as a warm tribute to an extraordinary man.


Gemma Creagh


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