'Killing Bono' Movie Review, Written by: Karen Benardello
Director: Nick Hamm
Starring: Ben Barnes (‘The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian,’ ‘The Voyage of the Dawn Treader’), Robert Sheehan (‘Season of the Witch,’ TV’s ‘Misfits’) and Martin McCann (TV’s ‘The Pacific’)
Modern society often encourages people to celebrate, and strive for, celebrity status and continued success. Unfortunately, not everyone can obtain high levels of exceptional success, as seen in the new comedy ‘Killing Bono.’ The film, which was based on musician Neil McCormick’s memoir ‘Killing Bono: I Am Bono’s Doppelganger,’ expertly shows the struggles the Irish musician faced in launching his career, as he’s always in Bono and U2′s shadow. Like many people in the world, Neil is fascinated with the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, and will do anything to keep his dream alive.
‘Killing Bono’ follows Neil (played by Ben Barnes), a young Irish songwriter determined to become a successful singer and live the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. After he loses the chance to become the singer for the school band, The Hype, to his friend Paul Hewson (portrayed by Martin McCann), he forms his own band with his brother Ivan (played by Robert Sheehand). But as The Hype rises to fame and changes its name to U2, with Paul renaming himself Bono, the group leaves Neil and Ivan behind in Ireland.
Determined to become an even bigger success than U2, the brothers move to London, but are blinded by the injustices of the music industry. The little success they do obtain is always dwarfed by the achievements of their old school rivals. As his music dreams crash and burn, Neil feels his failure is directly linked to Bono and U2′s success.
Director Nick Hamm expertly portrayed a story that appeals to everyone’s determination and struggle to become successful in their chosen career. However, Neil and Ivan perfectly balance each other in their personalities and how they handle their failure, compared to U2′s success. Neil encompasses the mentality that every time Bono and the rest of his U2 friends succeed, his own aspirations and goals die; he feels that the world won’t embrace two rock ‘n’ roll bands from Dublin, especially since the bands are friends.
Neil resents the success U2 has obtained on their own, and the fact that he wasn’t chosen for the band. He foolishly believes that accepting help from his old classmates would diminish any success his would obtain. He seemingly revels in the local, small following they garner in London, even though he dreams for bigger success.
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