Growing up is tricky business, isn’t it? Remember when you put all those efforts trying to fit in, because you didn’t realise everyone else was trying to do the same? Or when you were different on purpose… except that you acted like you were born that way? Or when you tried, subtly, to be the exact amount of cool that’s required to get the girls to swoon over you and the boys to worship you? And of course, remember failing miserably at it all?
It was a frightening time of our lives when our mothers pushed us in the big, bad world called ‘school’. We were amongst strangers who were just as small as we are, all of whom thought this whole exercise is a punishment for breaking things at home. And what got us by at that time was an unexpected bond that we forged with unfamiliar people – what they’ve come to call ‘friendship’.
Son of Rambow is a gem of an indie British film that explores this bond at its purest form, during the purest time of our lives. Garth Jennings, who gave us the flawed screen adaptation of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, rises above himself in his second outing as writer-director to give us this little-known coming-of-age masterpiece.
Inspired by Jenning’s own childhood, Son of Rambow follows the unlikely friendship of naive Will and problem child Lee during a quiet British summer. Lee, at first, manipulates Will into becoming the stuntman (yes, stuntman) of his home video-adaptation of Rambo: First Blood. But soon, he finds a friend in Will – one, who is over-enthusiastic in sharing his innocent aspirations of being the next big thing in filmmaking… at the age of 10.
But as is the case in every friendship, misunderstandings test Will and Lee’s bond and Lee feels he’s better off being the loner and bully he once was… only to be proved wrong in one of the most delightful, heart-warming movie endings you’d ever see.
Watch this movie, preferably with a childhood friend, to relive those glorious years of our lives when we innocently thought of ourselves as (or tried really, really hard to be) badass. And when it was actually appropriate to be called ‘cute’ by hot chicks… but we still hated it anyway!
Starring: Bill Milner, Will Poulter and Jessica Hynes
Written By: Garth Jennings
Directed By: Garth Jennings
Note: This recommendation first appeared in MTV Noise Factory, February 2011 issue
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