Just a quick reminder that My Thoughts On… posts may contain spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the film in question, please skip down to the section titled Why Should You See This Film? where you will find no spoilers!
During a long English summer in the early 1980s, two schoolboys from differing backgrounds set out to make a film inspired by First Blood. (via IMDb)
What I Liked
- I didn’t expect to like Son of Rambow as much as I did, because I thought it was a completely different type of film to what it turned out to be. I guess this was just laziness on my part; I had never bothered to take the time to find out what it was about, so I just assumed it was somehow related to Rambo in subject matter, and I assumed I wouldn’t like it. It’s actually a sweet, funny, touching and lovely film about two children, and I absolutely loved it. It won’t be long before I watch it again.
- The performances of the two boys, Will Poulter and Bill Milner, are exceptional. Considering how young they were when it was made, they carry the entire film almost completely on their own. Their performances are affecting and believable, and I loved watching them. My favourite of the two characters was probably Lee Carter (“I’m alright Lee Carter!”), played by Will Poulter, because he has such a lot of front, and is so cheeky and naughty, and yet you see it all for what it is, and that’s just wanting someone to notice him. His love for his brother is heartbreaking, because Lawrence just isn’t interested and Lee never stops trying.
- The relationship between Lee and Will is as beautiful as any love story you’ll ever see in cinema. There’s the perfect meet-cute; the naughty boy is excluded from class at the same time as the religious boy has to step outside his own class because he’s not allowed to watch videos. Their relationship develops from one where Will idolises Lee and will gladly follow him wherever he goes, to one where Will has the upper hand, and he becomes popular in a way that Lee never will.
- Son of Rambow feels so authentically eighties. Even though it is set in 1982, the year I was born and therefore one I have no memory of, it still feels real. It doesn’t rely on clichés to achieve this, just an authentic sense of time and place. I loved the way that Lee Carter says “Skill”, when he is impressed with something (which becomes “Skill on toast” later on), because this is genuinely something that my brothers and sister and I said as children. It made it feel more real than over the top fashion or clumsy references to Thatcher would have done.
- The film perfectly encapsulates what it feels like to be a child. The sense of invincibility; Lee and Will are almost unable to be hurt, even at the end when disaster strikes, they both escape with remarkably minor injuries.
- The ending of the film was perfect; it made me sob but in the perfect way, because I was overwhelmed with happiness. It is such a lovely way to end the film – I love crying at a happy ending!
What I Didn’t Like
- Sometimes I felt as though the subplot involving Didier, the French exchange student, got in the way. While it explored some interesting themes, it doesn’t really feel as though there was room for it, and any time that the focus was solely on Didier, I just wanted to get back to Lee and Will.
Why Should You See This Film?
I urge you, I strongly urge you, to seek out this film and see it as soon as possible if you haven’t already. It’s a gem of a film, perfect for children and adults, and it’s beautifully acted and written. The lead performances from the two young actors, Will Poulter and Bill Milner, are affecting and brilliant and just perfect. The story is fantastical and silly and wonderful. It has an almost perfect running time of 96 minutes, and it has an emotional and perfect ending. Watch it now.