Belle and Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch take us through a dreamscape in God Help the Girl [Review]

By Karly Cox
By Karly Cox |

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Early one morning, a girl sneaks out of her room, opens a window at the end of the hallway and jumps out. Then she bursts into song, and narrates what follows with the help of music and lyrics. God Help the Girl is a musical film by Stuart Murdoch from indie pop band Belle and Sebastian, and this random, whimsical musical expression is a regular feature.

Eve is being treated for depression, and music is the only thing that gives her any pleasure. She soon meets kindred spirits James, a guitar-teaching lifeguard, and Cassie, one of his students. The trio embarks on a journey of self-discovery as they try to set up a band, and deal with their own demons.

Shot in Glasgow, the director makes good use of that city's blend of rolling outdoor spaces and surprisingly beautiful vistas. The songs are quirky, and don't always rhyme, but perfectly fit the film's dreamlike vibe.

Evocative of the French film 8 Women, and the Beatles-tune-filled Across the Universe, this is a fantasy with enough grit to be realistic, which ultimately demonstrates the healing power of music.

Contains scenes of undesirable behaviour