Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Quickie: Son of Rambow

Son of Rambow
Release: 05.02.08
DVD Release: 08.26.08
Rated PG-13
1 hour, 36 minutes

Matinee ($$$) <
> Second-Run Seats ($$)

When the teacher rolls in the cart with the telly, that's the cue for Will Proudfoot (Bill Milner) to move out to the hall and wait until the educational video finishes. His religion's rules forbid television, but ironically, they give him the opportunity to meet delinquent Lee Carter (Will Poulter). Lee Carter is a mischeivous little shit who is constantly bucking the system and swindling everyone he meets. Lee Carter tricks Will into literally chauffering him home. It is there Will is exposed to his first film while hiding from Lee Carter's older brother (Ed Westwick,
Children of Men). Will watches the climactic battle sequences of First Blood, and the creativity the bootleg sparks soon drowns his devout commitment.

Lee Carter enlists Will as the stuntman for his submission into an amateur film contest. The one stipulation: that Will be the son of Rambow! I grew up in the country and remember as a child that every rusted-out car and dilapidated barn was a source of fun limited only by my imagination. In much the same respect, Will and Lee Carter's total disregard for personal safety or their physical limitations is perfect. As Will is catapulted and launched for the good of the film, you watch as the friendship between the two grows. Audiences witness how the newfound popularity the boys find at school, especially from suave French exchange student Didier Revol (Jules Sitruk), and the family tension it causes for Will whittles away at their fast friendship.

Milner and Poulter's performances, while not stellar, were fun to watch. Will's drawings and imaginations are animated over the landscapes where the kids frolic, thanks to the vision of writer-director Garth Jennings (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy). It was easily discernible that the film's creator most likely thought in much the same way as Will in his formative years. The supporting performances were amusing, especially that of Sitruk, who slowly and deliberately creeps into the lead role of the boys' project.

Honestly, even though I watched this back in May, it feels as if it was the early eighties. The wacky situations the two get themselves into left the most lasting impression, but I vaguely recall the more serious repercussions of their friendship (Will's religion and Lee Carter's overbearing brother) stumbling the momentum of
Son of Rambow. It's definitely worth the watch, especially now that you can do so for the price of a rental.

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