Review – Silver Rockers – French Film Festival 2023

Silver Rockers is what Pitch Perfect will be in 40 years time. The only difference, the Silver Rockers aka Salt and Pepper are a real band. Similar to the sea shanty singing group, the Fisherman’s Friends, Salt and Pepper are a group of ragtags with music in common. But for Salt and Pepper, this group senior citizens are looking for something more than music.

In the port of Dunkirk that seems to very much serve its purpose, lives Alex (Mathilde Seigner). She’s struggling to find the sweet spot between being a professional singer and providing for her two children. Spiralling into debt and her eldest son resenting her, Alex is forced to accept a job. While the job is offered by her friend and it’s a sweet deal to help her get out of a little debt, the catch is, it’s teaching senior citizens who have already been through four teachers.

With her work cut out for her, Alex struggles to get the choir interested not only in spending time with each other, but the singing as well. With persistence Alex holds strong, maybe it’s because she needs the money or maybe because she can see something in the choir’s potential. Things change when one of the choir members sees Alex performing at a bar.

Now the choir knows Alex is a rock singer when she’s not teaching the choir, they demand she let them sing rock songs. Knowing the council member that hired her would not agree, the choir and Alex decide to rehearse the rock songs in secret before the big event.

The choir come together and now they have found their passion in singing rock, they sound like a choir. The big day comes and the choir manages to get the audience on their feet and put on a great show. Sadly, it wasn’t to the liking of the council member and they are told to leave on the spot.

With no choir means there’s no job for Alex who has had to take a job at a hotel. With nothing else to do with their spare time, the senior citizens decide to continue as a choir and book gigs for themselves. Their name, Salt and Pepper.

Sadly, much like Alex’s career as a singer, Salt and Pepper struggle to book any gigs. But when they decide to take matters into their own hands and perform uninvited at a Metallica concert, their lives change forever.

Silver Rockers is what you would expect of this type of film. Firstly, it’s a comedy. These old timers have all the sass and don’t care. And while they’re in bed early, they give it their all during the day. The best example is when they bring the house down playing a gig at the prison for all the inmates.

The film also brings a wealth of emotion and taps into a sad reality that comes with not only getting old, but those who have no one left around them. At the age they are, death is an all too regular occurrence. Not only can it take its toll emotionally, losing a close friend when there aren’t too many around as it is, can make for a lonely life.

It’s the point of loneliness that plays a big part in Silver Rockers. For a lot of senior citizens their partners may have passed away, their children have moved to start a life or family of their own and they don’t have the energy to work full time. To be respected and not treated like they are children back at school again that gives them a sense of purpose and something fun to look forward to.

The characters don’t tend to have much depth to them and when there is a chance to delve into the lives of individuals, it’s rather skimmed over. This is the part that makes it hard to connect with anyone and see the movie for anything more than a bunch of senior citizens singing.

This film is heartwarming and at the same time has a great chance to sing along as most of the songs they use are in English for those non-French speakers. You know how the movie will end, but it’s fun to be along for the ride.

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