Brightness in the Dark with Emo: The Musical

Rae Wade, Staff writer

Emo: The Musical is almost like Romeo and Juliet, but with dark thoughts and black eyeliner on side and radiant visions of chastity and wholesomeness on the other. The musical is about an Emo band in an Australian high school and their battle with a group of Christian singers.


Emo Ethan was expelled from his private school in the beginning, where he tried to hang himself. He then moves to a different school, which is less posh than his old school. As soon as he’s there at his new school, we find out there’s an Emo band called Worst Day Ever and they desperately want him to join the band.


The leader of the band is Bradley, and the band also consists of a bass player and drummer. There’s also a girl named Trinity, who Ethan likes, even though she’s the singer of the school’s rival Christian folk band.


The movie’s early going is a relatively well-oiled machine, introducing the main characters and their quandaries in often fairly recognizable situations, but always with some humor. An early lyric refers to the red marks on Ethan’s wrist done with “eye shadow because mom wouldn’t allow me to buy razors,” while he rebuffs Trinity’s rather innocent advances.


(Disclaimer: Emo the Musical is definitely more suitable for progressive audiences than for traditional or religious ones).


One problem is the filmmakers’ difficulty in balancing the opposites attract love story at the drama’s center with the many subplots involving other characters. The possessive Roz (Lucy Barrett), who is Worst Day Ever’s bassist, forces Ethan to become her boyfriend because “the bassist and the guitarist of the band always date” is given her own song and quite a lot of screen time.


Apart from these structural problems, there are tonal issues, as well.


As a writer, Triffett’s allegiance to his characters isn’t always clear. Is he constantly making all of them or should his view be taken as raw honesty coming from a place of love? Whatever the case may be, the actors play their roles as straight as they can.


If all these points are taken into consideration, Emo the Musical is kind of a hot mess. But, it’s undeniable that there’s also something just so likeable about these good-looking youngsters warbling about their teenage troubles, with the obvious exception of Worst Day Ever’s darker repertoire, most of the film’s songs are actually quite folky and straight-forward.


I love this musical, it’s awesome and some scenes could relate to today’s teens, so people should definitely watch it.