“Son of Rambow” is a brilliant coming of age movie about friendship, inspiration and a willingness to put others first. Amazingly funny and innovative, it quickly became a favorite of mine.Written and directed by Garth Jennings, “Son of Rambow” turned out to be very eccentric. Which probably resulted in it’s greater popularity. (Judging by the number of positive reviews available online.)
At the very beginning of the movie the directors introduced us to the main characters of the movie – Bill Milner as Will, a sheltered son of a strict Amish family with strict religious views. We first see Will reading from the Bible on a street corner and his exact opposite Will Poulter as Lee Carter filming a piracy version of by Sylvester Stallone’s ‘First Blood’ in the local cinema. By the seventh minute of the movie, in which the boys meet in a school hallway, we get to know the various aspects of their lifestyles. A writing feature which indicates good character development. Another plus of the movies features .
Lee Carter being a wild trouble maker, bullies Will at first, probably sensing his shyness. He takes the notebook of Will’s (Which the boy draws amazing pictures; his only way to entertain himself since his religion forbids music, movies and television amongst other things.) and teases him to get it back. Their wrestling gets them in more trouble and soon they are awaiting a greater fate in front of the Headmaster`s office. One very nervous Will who probably never had to sit there before and a calm Lee who even uses the nerviness of Will to cheat him, taking his father’s watch in return for taking the blame.
Soon Lee Carter recruits Will as a stunt man ( well stunt boy ) for his homemade movie “Son of Rambow” inspired by the the Rambo movie which by accident, becomes the first movie Will has ever seen. Both boys are so impressed by the movie and the heroic image of Rambo that they decide to make a sequel and name it ” Son of Rambow”. At that point one may wonder why it was called ” Son of Rambow” instead of ” The friend of Rambow” or something like that . The answer is easy to discover if you follow along. Both, Lee and Will are yearning for absent dads.
When the filming begins, we get to enjoy a series of wild stunts involving catapults and water cannons and of course, Will. He does an incredibly good job as a stunt man, enjoying the tasks inherent with the adventure for Lee’s video. Both young actors fit their roles well and it’s probably their talent and energy that makes the scenes what they are, lively and enjoyable. Lee and Will form a bond together and even become blood brothers. But as we witness their friendship becoming stronger and stronger, we get to see and another emerging characteristic; how boys can become so casually cruel.
Subplots: A group of French exchange students are introduced into the mix. I think that this was the only downside of the movie, as it seemed to me, that the focus on the main plot was somehow lost when this subplot was introduced. I have seen other films in which the movie, within a movie, technique fits better.
As a coming of age movie, “Son of Rambow” allows us to see the world once again as it was when we were twelve, when anything and everything was possible. It brought back many memories for me. A friend and I used to make a secret trails in the local park, putting traps in them (to protect us from being discovered and then we drew maps showing of how to get from point to point, avoiding the traps. “Son of Rambow” is a great reminder of the joys of being young and careless, while at the same time, it makes you feel like your dreams are still possible.
The film deserves a much better review than I will ever be able to write, but I gave it a shot.