Thursday, August 28, 2008


Son of Rambow is a 2007 comedy-drama film written and directed by Garth Jennings.

Will Proudfoot (Bill Milner) is a well-mannered schoolboy being raised in an ultra-religious community that deplores such corruptive distractions as television and seeks to maintain its purity by severely limiting contact with the outside world. In order to exorcise his creative inner demons, Will has taken to sketching imaginative drawings and complex illustrations. Lee Carter (Will Poulter) is the school terror, a rampaging hellion whose overaggressive behavior has made him an endless source of frustration to the faculty, and a source of fear to his fellow classmates.

As fate would have it, Will is in the school hallway avoiding exposure to the classroom television when a fed-up teacher ejects Lee from the classroom. Though at first it appears as if Lee is about to torment timid Will just as he does the rest of the student body, the two form a tight bond after Will convinces Lee to view a bootleg copy of Rambo: First Blood.

When Lee informs Will that he wants to shoot a homebrewed version of the violent action film for an upcoming amateur filmmaking contest, a sudden streak of rebellion prompts his sheltered classmate to readily agree. As the summer wears on the two boys set out to create the ultimate no-budget action movie, but their grand vision hits an unexpected hitch when a busload of French exchange students arrive at the school and the leader of the pack attempts to hijack the production.

I remember making movies all the time when I was a little kid. Using my dad's giant camcorder, my little sister and her dolls as different characters, anything I could find around the house to use as props and our backyard as the wild jungle because it did look like a wild jungle for a whole year when my dad decided he didn't want to mow it. The two kids in Son of Rambow are doing the same exact thing and having fun along the way.

The movie is very well made and light on the heavy subjects because a movie like this really doesn't need the dramatics of a Christopher Nolan film. The two kids go to the same school but are from two very different lifestyles which are shown to great effect. Lee Carter lives in a big house connected to an old folks home. His parents are always away so it's just him and his older brother who he loves but the feeling isn't shared. He has almost a warehouse of fun things at his disposal which is every kids dream but no friends to share it with. Will lives with his mom, grandmother and little sister in a Shaker like household. He doesn't get to watch TV or have any fun even though he has a great imagination that he puts down in drawings.

So when they meet up and decide to make the movie together, Lee Carter gets a friend and Will gets to have fun. The movie never crosses the line into making it more sappy, emotional or dramatic than it needs to be. I liked the other side plot of the movie with the French exchange student and his English prep school groupies. He is a fan of movies and Patrick Swayze, so he decides to help Lee Carter and Will with their movie. I liked the scene when they are all at party with a bunch of teenagers who are eating candy and getting wash off tattoos.

The second half of the movie mostly deals with the family drama and I think that's when it looses a little bit of its fun. It kind of forgets about the whole Son of Rambow movie and just mainly wants to deal with the drama that comes up between Lee Carter and Will. It is still an enjoyable movie to the end though. The two kids are really good actors and the cinematography is great. It feels like it would have fit better as a short film than as a whole movie but the extra hour is not a waste of your time.

Son of Rambow: 6 out of 10

The DVD features trailers; audio commentary; making-of featurette and a short film.



No comments: