Son of Rambow is this years perfectly written, brilliantly acted, little British charms. It’s a light-hearted, coming-of-age story about a growing friendship between two very different boys set in the awesome eighties. The two boys cross paths when Lee Carter is kicked out of yet another classroom, and discovers a meek and impressionable Will Proudfoot, who isn’t allowed to watch television and has been excused from the class. After a couple of boisterous couple of minutes Lee manages to convince Will that he’s a good guy and will take the blame for an accident, if Will helps him with a home-made project.
Because Will is a member of a sort of Amish brethren, he is an outcast unable to join in with most of the childhood frivolities we all took for granted, one of these, would be watching films. So through a pirated copy of Rambo: First Blood, Will offers to help Lee with the project, in hope it will be accepted into a local amateur film competition.
Will wants to play the son of Rambo(w) instead of Rambo, taking the situation of losing his father in real life, and rescuing him from death in the film. There are a handful of hilarious scenes of the two boys filming the stunts for the film, inter-spliced with Will’s active imaginative story-boarding, creating the most charming Rambo sequel never invented.
As a quirky subplot, the boys school is in the midst of a French exchange, and the new French students bring another dimension to the film. French sixth former, Didier, has exotic rock-star looks and an overly cool attitude, which makes him an idol to all the local students. Didier quickly creates an entourage who then force their way into the Rambow production, excluding Lee which causes friction between him and Will. Causing a massively affectionate and touching speech from Lee, before a near fatal accident, where Lee risks his life for Will.
Son of Rambow is a compassionate coming-of-age offering that shows the wonderful positives in a sea of darkness. Which is one of the reasons this film is so good is because it’s not all laughs, and happiness, it deals with the boys family issues, including death, repression and loneliness.
Garth Jennings (director) allows the film to unfold in an astute, witty and lovable manner. Using the physical and visual humour that children love and we recall. The ending is warm, tearful and lovingly happy, and yeah, sometimes that’s a bloody brilliant feeling.