SON OF RAMBOW (2007)

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Written & Directed By: Garth Jennings
Cinematography By: Jess Hall
Editor: Dominic Leung

Cast: Bill Milner, Jessica Stevenson, Neil Dudgeon, Will Poulter, Jules Sitruck, Ed Westwick, Asa Butterfield, Edgar Wright

SON OF RAMBOW is the name of the home movie made by two little boys with a big video camera and even bigger ambitions. Set on a long English summer in the early 80’s, SON OF RAMBOW is a comedy about friendship, faith and the tough business of growing up. We see the story through the eyes of Will, the eldest son of a fatherless Plymouth Brethren family. The Brethren regard themselves as God’s ‘chosen ones’ and their strict moral code means that Will has never been allowed to mix with the other ‘worldlies,’ listen to music or watch TV, until he finds himself caught up in the extraordinary world of Lee Carter, the school terror and maker of bizarre home movies. Carter exposes Will to a pirate copy of Rambo: First Blood and from that moment Will’s mind is blown wide open and he’s easily convinced to be the stuntman in Lee Carters’ diabolical home movie. Will’s imaginative little brain is not only given chance to flourish in the world of film making, but is also very handy when it comes to dreaming up elaborate schemes to keep his partnership with Lee Carter a secret from the Brethren community. Will and Carter’s complete disregard for consequences and innocent ambition means that the process of making their film is a glorious rollercoaster that eventually leads to true friendship. They start to make a name for themselves at school as movie makers but when popularity descends on them in the form of the Pied Piper-esque French exchange student, Didier Revol, their unique friendship and their precious film are pushed, quite literally, to breaking point.

The film is offbeat but in a quirky charming way.

The film would go perfectly as an addition to a Wes Anderson film festival. Though it has a different sensibility or a Double Feature with MOONRISE KINGDOM.

This film I have a mild love-hate relationship with. It has boundless imagination. Amazing Low-fi visuals and it appears that the film has a lot of heart. Showing the ingenuity and spirit of youth. Yet it feels at times too cuddly and cute, which makes the film seem manipulative in some instances though really the kids go through a lot of hardship and pain. Though the movie makes it look fun, but then again the film at times does march to the beat of it’s own drummer.

From the 80’s setting to the popular French exchange student who is treated like a rock-star. How the character of Will Proudfoot, Always calls lee by his full name Lee Carter. It all feels inspired but not necessarily by Wes Anderson who deals with the same type of quirks and views. Only this film isn’t as styled and smooth as Anderson’s films and finds it strengths in the D.I.Y. nature and looks of the film. It has all these little details that make the film feel like real care has been put into it. It’s a little more funky less idealistic and less smooth. So that it feels a bit more relateable.

It’s a well meaning film by the director Garth Jennings this film of course is smaller in scope and more affecting then his previous film THE HITCHHIKERS’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY. That film showed he can handle the huge size of a grand production while giving it some kind of heart. The film also showed their talent especially in visuals and performances. This film shows he has a natural talent and comfort when it comes to smaller scaled, lower budgeted projects while still creating unforgettable visuals. It is a autobiographical tale which might be why though low-fi the film has a heart always and seems to allow some indulgences.

Not exactly a family film. Kind of too racy to be for the whole family, but for teens and parents perfect. Shows the power of the imagination and displays action that you wish you could have done as a child with no parental supervision. It takes you back to a time when kids were allowed to play instead of always being coddled and watched. Left to their own devices and not worried as much about predators and the world at large.

It shows the passion and magic of films and filmmaking how it can bring a group of different people together to reach a common goal and share in the experience. It also has an infectious energy of the wonder of childhood. Where you believed anything can happen and the only extent of the world was your imagination. Yet you are usually traveling to go beyond and discover. Clearly evident in the mischief and dangerous stunts the kids get into that no adult supervision would come close to allowing. Even more so now. It seems with technology youth has forgotten how to have fun with creativity and imagination. This film brings it back to a time when youth made their own fun.

What I also really liked about the film is that it showcases the filmmaking spirit and movement that was rarely known to people in the 80’s more underground that was newly discovered recently and now that thanks to the internet more and more people are making their own little films or like the characters in films. That let’s them express themselves and give themselves a direction to go into to release their creativity.

This though is just another film that for some reason just never fully connects for me. I liked the film but as an audience member it never really touches you in the way that it aspires to. It’s like a younger better version of BE KIND REWIND.

The kids are all good and give good performances and never become annoying. Though the direction is what really interests and keeps the audience.

It really showcases what can happen when at times you let your imagination get the best of you and you allow yourself to run off with it. Especially in harrowing times when need of an escape.

GRADE: B-

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