"“Providing the viewer with a refreshingly different take on life in Scotland to what we so often seen in cinema...”"

This Friday marks the release of three Scottish movies, all of which are extremely different to the other. While Filth is a dark and deranged black comedy, and For Those In Peril is a bleak and melancholic drama, we're left with the inherently optimistic musical Sunshine on Leith, as Dexter Fletcher returns off the back of his critically acclaimed Wild Bill, to try something, well, a little bit different.

Based on the popular stage play of the same name, Sunshine on Leith follows two soldiers Davy (George MacKay) and Ally (Kevin Guthrie), returning back home to Edinburgh from a lengthy spell serving in the Middle East. Adjusting back into normality is no easy task, as the latter contemplates proposing to his girlfriend Liz (Freya Mavor) while the former starts a whole new relationship of his own, with the beautiful Yvonne (Antonia Thomas). Meanwhile, Davy's parents (Peter Mullan, Jane Horrocks) are going through some marital problems of their own, despite their exultation at their son's long-awaited return.

Though dealing with several severe, very realistic themes, Sunshine on Leith has a natural joviality to it, as the uplifting array of songs (all of which belong to the Scottish two piece The Proclaimers) ensure that the tone rarely drops from being uplifting or enlivening. Fletcher is providing the viewer with a refreshingly different take on life in Scotland to what we so often seen in cinema. However, despite going against the typically desolate portrayal of the nation on the big screen – this does adhere to archetypal Scottish sensibilities, with a dry humour prevalent throughout. 

The one great downside to this title, however, is the songs – something of a problem considering this is a musical. People have often debated whether or not The Proclaimers are are one hit wonders with their track 'I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)', and regrettably this film does nothing to boost their case. It's a shame because the film begins with so much promise, as the opening scene – and song – has such an intensity to it and an atmosphere sadly unmatched from thereon. The next best scene is the very last – it's just everything in between that isn't quite up to scratch.

The film does improve drastically when things take a turn for the worse, though. When everybody is happy and singing down the street it's almost nauseating, whereas when issues arise, it's when this picture really kicks into gear and Fletcher is able to show off his directorial prowess. Just like in Wild Bill, the talented filmmaker has displayed a real knack for depicting the trifling, bleak aspects to family life, be that in the East End of London, or on the streets of Edinburgh – it's an honest and well-crafted portrayal of a turbulent life at home.  

Though admiring Fletcher for his creativity and innovation in regards to this production – and taking a shot at a genre that is mostly untouched in contemporary cinema, particularly in Britain, it's a somewhat underwhelming return for the Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels star. In Wild Bill he took a common, conventional concept and turned it on its head completely, to make it his own. However in this, he's taken an immensely original idea and made it seem rather ordinary, in an unfortunate turn of events.

In the meantime, I'd like to see what really happens if you walk through the streets of Edinburgh at night signing and dancing about love. Now that really would make a good movie.