Movies: Soulboy **
Published 03/09/2010 | 05:00
Set in glamorous Stoke-on-Trent in 1974, SoulBoy examines the 'northern soul' phenomenon that swept points north of Birmingham in the dark days of that politically and economically troubled decade.
Inspired by the music of Motown, the northern soul movement was all about amphetamine-fuelled dancing, with young men and women throwing elaborate dancefloor shapes to prove who was best.
Delivery boy Joe McCain (Martin Compston) is initially unaware of all this, but when he falls for a glamorous blonde called Jane (Nicola Burley), who works at a local hairdressers, she tells him about a club in Wigan called Casino.
When Joe and his mate Russ go there, they find a hectic whirl of intricate dance moves and very pretty women, including Jane. But there's also danger in the shape of a drug-pushing, thuggish DJ, who considers Jane personal property and will take a singular dislike to Joe.
SoulBoy recreates its period decently enough, if a little self-consciously, and a good supporting cast includes Felicity Jones, who plays a vulnerable, young girl, and Pat Shortt, who's a Tom Jones-loving Irish delivery man.
It's nothing much to look at, but its simple story is competently told, even if the dancing overwhelms the drama at times.