Son Of Rambow

Son Of Rambow

*****

Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Childhood is a foreign country, where monsters exist, imagination reigns supreme and violence with extreme prejudice from your older siblings and peers is a regular occurence.

In the land that is the early Eighties, Will (Bill Millner) is foreigner too, even though he's a kid. Living with his mum and sister since his dad died in a freak mowing incident (it's a long story) he is part of the Plymouth Brethren.

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This means his childhood is a sheltered one, on the fringes, the chief privation of which is a ban on TV. As his class watch school's programmes, he is booted out into the corridor.

On one fateful day, he finds himself in the company of Lee Carter (Will Poulter), the baddest boy on the block, sweary and savvy. A confrontation leads to friendship, which in turn leads to an epiphany for Will. Forbidden from watching the telly, his imagination runs wild through pictures, which he draws in his bible and across a toilet cubicle. Lee, on the other hand, loves the cinema - particularly pirating videos from his local - and is planning to make a film to send to BBC's Screen Test.

Lee is under the supervision of his elder bro since his mum is AWOL with a bloke in Spain and when Will sees Lee's pirate copy of Rambo First Blood, their pact is sealed and their movie-making begins.

If this sounds like a lot of plot detail, prepare yourself, because the surface bares hardly a scratch. This is densely plotted - and all the better for it. Peppered with 80s pop culture references, the outlandish tale of friendship also features a 'stud' French exchange student and Eric Sykes in a glorious cameo.

Everything has a ring of truth, from the friendship and fallings out between Will and Lee to the school staffroom sniping - although I wonder whether any school has quite as many sixth formers as we see here.

The script sizzles with humour, but more importantly, like Danny Boyle's Millions, it carries an emotional weight. Keeping the cast small means the characters of Will and Lee are well fleshed out and, though firmly rooted in British culture, their experiences are universal. Sure to be a box office smash.

In the spirit of declaring members' interests, I feel it only fair to point out that Garth Jennings has been known to resort to badge bribery - see my Sundance Diaries below.

Reviewed on: 25 Jan 2007
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Delightful comedy about childlike imagination and love of the movies.
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Director: Garth Jennings

Writer: Garth Jennings

Starring: Bill Milner, Will Poulter, Zofia Brooks, Neil Dudgeon, Tallulah Evans, Adam Godley, Diane Leach, Paul Ritter, Sam Spivack, Jessica Hynes, Eric Sykes

Year: 2007

Runtime: 96 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: UK


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If you like this, try:

First Blood
Millions
Snake Bite
Stand By Me