Magazine article The Christian Century

Son of Rambow

Magazine article The Christian Century

Son of Rambow

Article excerpt

Son of Rambow

Written and directed by Garth Jennings.

Starring Bill Milner and Will Poulter.

I took my 11-year-old son to see Son of Rambow as a form of retreat from the current armada of blockbusters. I had heard that the film, an audience favorite at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, was full of uplifting messages about friendship, imagination, creativity and tolerance. My son said he liked it, as he sprang from his seat the moment the credits began to roll (an act of movie sacrilege that I'm trying to address). I had reservations about the film, but not wanting to dampen his enthusiasm, I said I liked it too.

During the drive home, however, as he picked at the last kernels of popcorn, he also started picking at some of the inconsistencies in the film. Why did this happen? Why did he say that? Wouldn't he have done this instead of that if that had occurred? I tried to answer his queries as best I could, straddling the line between father and film critic, until I finally began to acknowledge that there were "holes in the script." He listened and nodded, before defending his original conclusion: "I liked it anyway."

Son of Rambow, a low-budget British film set in a small English village in the early 1980s, concerns the friendship between two 11-year-olds. Will Proudfoot (Bill Milner) is a shy lad who belongs to a conservative Christian sect that doesn't allow any exposure to movies, television or music. Lee Carter (Will Poulter) is a rough-and-tumble troublemaker who lives with his neglectful older brother, Lawrence (Ed Westwick). Lee hopes to win a short-movie competition sponsored by the BBC, and to that end is using his brother's camera to make his own video about Rambo, the action hero of the time.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Will begrudgingly agrees to be a stuntman in Lee's epic. His enthusiasm increases after he sees a bootleg copy of the first Rambo movie--his first movie experience ever--with its sweaty bodies, rampant killing and nonstop explosions. Inspired, Will shares with Lee his own potent imaginary world, which he explores by doodling in his Bible. Lee has to admit that Will's world of evil scarecrows and flying dogs would make a great addition to the film. …

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