Eye For Film >> Movies >> Ben And Lump (2012) Film Review
Ben And Lump
Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson
This is a gently comic and touching portrait of a friendship, two boys who have become young men and in the process, their situations have become complicated. In a seaside town, in an indeterminate sort of around now - there are mobile phones but they are rubbish, and it's possible to have a petit filou for breakfast - there's Ben, played by Lewis Reeves, who has a few television roles under his belt, and Lump, played by Thomas Turgoose.
Turgoose is probably in danger of being typecast, but given how good he is that's a small worry. As Lump he's stuck, about to be thrown out of his father's house - while Ben's been off at university. If Lump's not sorted something out by his next birthday he's expected to follow his sister into the army. Fortunately for Lump he's got an ally - Sister Margaret, his friendly neighbourhood nun, played by industry veteran Georgie Glen, recently seen in Hysteria. Her role here is as a conspiratorial confidante to Ben and Lump, sharing their concerns for each other. Over a messy Christmas, the complexities of tombola notwithstanding, the three come to a series of understandings.
This is genuinely funny, full of subtle characterisation and humorous moments. There's catching up between old friends about mutual acquaintances - "He all right? No, not really - he's been replaced by a touchscreen" - relationship advice that hinges on the relative merits of a chocolate cock, and careers advice from a nun. Part of the Channel 4 Coming Up scheme, first-time writer Tom Wells and debut director MJ Delaney have been given access to a first class film-making toybox, and have made something that's both playful and affecting.
Technically, its astute. A good sense of a variety of spaces is created, from the Christmas jumble to the beach, with excellent set dressing. The exterior shots - in particular, nuns on bicycles, lights in tents, stones skipping across the water - show a good eye. Similarly, the dialogue catches enough of reality to make the comedy seem unforced. There are genuine laughs, great chemistry between the two leads and a sparkling ending.Reviewed on: 04 Jul 2012