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Review: Celtic Soul

The film Celtic Soul, a sort of celebration of a budding bromance between actor Jay Baruchel and reporter Eoin O’Callaghan comes off as extremely enrapturing – for the initial ten minutes. The investigation into Montreal fandom, a kind of immersion prequel by Baruchel to O’Callaghan contains great local interest.

Michael McNamara’a initial excursion is fascinating (the film was also executive produced by Baruchel and O’Callaghan). We can enjoy watching the pair (Baruchel, mainly) eating poutine and steamies, venturing out into the snow and cheering for the Montreal Canadiens, (and, in, doing things that regular fans wouldn’t get to do, like hanging out with P.K. Subban). The fun is that Montreal fandom is relatable. Though this reviewer hails from Ontario, it is not difficult to see that this type of fandom is instantly relatable. In fact, had the documentary remained in La Belle Province, it would have maintained a higher interest level.

But instead a trip to Ireland and Scotland to watch Celtic (pronounced with a soft “C”), preceded by some antics doesn’t really come close to capturing the starting salvo in terms of maintaining an interest. Its conclusion of capturing Baruchel and O’Callaghan is even less captivating and only an explanation of the idea of “roots” manages to keep the story as a linear narrative and not a vanity project. In the end, Baruchel comes off as much more relatable, and for whatever reason, O’Callaghan, whether it is not being from Canada or perhaps not indulging Baruchel in his pastimes as much as vice versa, does not capture our interest in quite the same way. Or maybe this reviewer does not care as much for football as some others. The Celtic Soul of the tiitle is a double meaning, though the film could often use a little bit more of it.

[star v=3]