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Review of “Son of Rambow” (2007) PG-13 96min

May 24th, 2008 by Maxim · 1 Comment · 6,244 Views


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Paramount Vantage's Son of Rambow“Son of Rambow” is a British comedy/drama written and directed by Garth Jennings, the man behind the underappreciated The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy (2005).

The plot: Summer of 1982 (we know that because the title of the movie refers to the first installment of Rambo franchise, First Blood, released in 1982). England. Will Proudfoot, the eldest son (8) in a fatherless religeous family. The code of the sect is strict: they are not to mix the the other “worldies”, no music and no television. Which is why when Will’s school teacher shows school documentaries on TV, Will spends the time outside of the class. At the same time, a 9-year old Lee Carter, a school’s hooligan is thrown out of the class. These two completely different kids become unlikely friends when Carter, who steals stuff at every oportunity to make a home-movie and send it to a competition sponsored by BBC. Carter discovers Will’s notebook and his drawings, and decided to abandon his story and offers to take Will on the movie production based on Will’s story and Carter as director and the camera man. Soon they also find a star actor for the movie – a French exchange student Didier. Together they learn a lot of things about family, friendship and growing up.

The good: This is a wonderful movie. It reproduces what it was like to grow up in the 80s, from the movies to cars to clothes. It’s a comedy about kids that feel real – mostly because they do all the things kids do – they are sometimes bad-bahaved at school, they imagine their own worlds and monsters like Will’s monster-scarecrow or his story about “Son of Rambow” (they are English, get it?). Some of the things they do are absolutely scary, like when Carter uses Will as a stuntman or tries to shoot an apple off his head with a cross-bow. Lee Carter is bigger and older then Will, and their relationship begins when Lee Carter cheats Will out of his father’s watch in exchange for saving him from “torture” by school’s principal. Not to give up too much, but in their home-movie Lee and Will have a plastic dog attached to a kite, a character they call “Flyng dog” – that just goes to show how little they were to understand that much about “Birddog”, a military aircraft. In the picture above, Will uses his school necktie to make himself look like Rambo.

Will Poulter and Bill Milner in Paramount Vantage's Son of RambowThis movie is hallarious. Especially when French exchange students come to Will’s school, the students are distributed by random drawing to live with their English classmates – exactly like it happened in my school! One of the French schoolchildren is punk-looking kid Didier, who instantly becomes popular and girls line up to test their French-kissing skills. (Michael, if you are reading this, I think now I understand how you managed to French-kiss 9 German girls on the same day). Didier also becomes the star of Lee and Will’s movie.

The movie shows how tough it is to grow up, how children are with each other and teaches us, viewers, about understanding and forgiving. A chance to see the world through the eyes of a child.

I loved the 80s.

The bad: can’t think of anything yet. It’s a bit of a tear-jerker.

The summary: Best movie of the year. It will make you laugh, it will may you cry, it will make you remember what it was like to be a kid. Anyone grew up in the 80s in Europe? Better then last year’s Juno. Touching and sweet.

The cast: Will Proudfoot – Bill Milner | Mary Proudfoot - Jessica Hynes | Grandma - Anna Wing | Lee Carter - Will Poulter | Jess Proudfoot – Tallulah Evans | Didier Revol - Jules Sitruk

The crew: Director – Garth Jennings | Writer – Garth Jennings | Producers – Bristol Baughan, Christian Baute, Benjamin Goldhirsh, Nick Goldsmith, Hengameh Panahi, Jane Robertson | Original Music – Joby Talbot | Cinematography – Jess Hall | Film Editing – Dominic Leung | Art Direction – Robyn Paiba

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Rated 5/5 on May 24 2008
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Tags: Comedy · Drama · Foreign · France · Germany · Movies · UK

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