Thursday, 14 May 2009

son of rambow

In the midst of all the cynicism swirling around it was refreshing to spend a couple of hours watching a highly amusing story about the developing friendship of two misfits. Son of Rambow was a birthday present I hadn’t got round to watching but it was well worth the wait.

Will is a young boy separated from the surrounding culture by his family’s commitment to the Plymouth Brethren. Whenever his school class watches a T.V. programme Will has to leave the room and he has no experience of popular entertainment. Lee, the school trouble maker, starts out seeking to manipulate Will into helping him make a film and they end up forming a close friendship.

Son of Rambow revolves around the making of a sequel to the 80s adventure Rambo: First Blood. Lee wants to enter his masterpiece for a Screen Test competition and after showing Will a pirate copy of Rambo, convinces him to act as his central character and stunt man. There are some wonderful moments including Eric Sykes as an old man in a home, dressed up as Rambo and filmed while completely oblivious to what is going on. My wife’s favourite scenes feature a French exchange student, Didier Revol, who exudes a cool sophistication and is hero worshipped by many of the young boys at school. Didier, weighed down by existential boredom, finds out about the film project and insists on joining in and using his followers as the production crew.

The soundtrack of 1980s hits reminds me just how bad so much of the music from that period was. Themes explored include the nature of friendship and the relationship between religion and culture. The film is heart-warming, nostalgic and fun; a good antidote to the jaundiced world view offered by so much entertainment around at the moment.


Alice Smith said...

Phil, upon recommendation by Andy P, I watched this a few months ago and have used it widely in youth work and training sessions! It's a great film which seems to hit everyone's experience of life, friendship and feeling isolated and not fitting in...all positively addressed too! Thanks for your blog, much enjoyed x see you around

Philip Ritchie said...

Thanks Alice, I agree it is a really useful resource as well as being a great film.