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PUBLISHED: 11:16 06 April 2008 | UPDATED: 08:54 21 July 2010

Will Proudfoot (Bill Milner) forges an unlikely friendship with the school terror

Will Proudfoot (Bill Milner) forges an unlikely friendship with the school terror

Son Of Rambow (12A) SON of Rambow makes you thank God the British film industry still has enough life in it to produce a warm and funny tale that could only have come from these shores...

Son Of Rambow (12A)

SON of Rambow makes you thank God the British film industry still has enough life in it to produce a warm and funny tale that could only have come from these shores.

Where else could you see a hilarious portrayal of a young boy brazenly breaking the law by filming in the front row of the cinema, fag in hand - as school terror Lee Carter (Will Poulter) does on a regular basis?

He is obsessed with films and his one goal, this being 1982, is to win the young filmmakers' competition on TV programme, Screen Test.

The film's other main character, Will Proudfoot (Bill Milner), would never have seen the classic programme as he is forbidden to watch TV or listen to music as his family are followers of the strictly religious Plymouth Brethren.

Instead he lives through drawings that cover his bible and flickering cartoons in his exercise book which step over the bounds of reality in a way Terry Gilliam would be proud of, lending a touch of Monty Python to the proceedings.

Like The Artful Dodger and Oliver before them, the duo form an unlikely friendship, which really takes shape after Will watches Lee's pirate copy of Rambo: First Blood, firing his imagination and producing a plot for Lee's home-made masterpiece.

Fuelled by the death of his own father while mowing the lawn, Will comes up with Son of Rambow.

The impossibly weedy Will plays the title role, searching for his kidnapped father in the form of an elderly resident from Lee's parents' care home wearing a wig stolen from one of the nurses.

Cue slapstick stunts which would have modern-day parents reaching for the cotton wool, inventive use of a scarecrow as the villain of the piece and lashings of tomato ketchup "blood".

The ingenuity of the two boys reflects director Garth Jennings's own imagination as he made similar films himself with family and friends when he was younger.

And it is more than his movie-making memories that he brings to the piece.

This is a journey back to school in the early 1980s, complete with space dust, smelly erasers and the use of the word "skill" to describe all that is great.

And no school 25 years ago would have been complete without the obligatory foreign exchange student - in this case Didier, who would not look out of place now in a Shoreditch nightclub with his red boots and streaked, bouffant hair.

He and his gang of admirers threaten to take over the film, causing friction between Lee and Will, with the latter being lured with entry to the hallowed sixth-form common room.

While Son of Rambow will make you laugh until your sides ache and bring a sentimental tear to your eye, it ultimately leaves you with a sense of pride that charming tales like this are still being made in this land.

By Eleanore Robinson


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