I have to admit that I teared up a bit while I was watching this film. Ok, it doesn't take much for me to cry while watching movies because I tend to get overly emotional. I mean, I cried while watching You've Got Mail (even though I am never going to admit this in real life, and before anyone gets all judgemental on me, I'd like to point out that I was thirteen when I saw it), so I get sensitive quite easily during films.
However, I was quite impressed with Son of Rambow. I saw some adverts promoting the film when I was in London last year on the public transport and mentally laughed about the title thinking it was some sort of a B-movie, you know like The Loin King, Romancing the Bone, Forest Hump, Saving Ryan's Privates, etc. A couple of months ago, I read a review and found out that it was actually an independent film that premiered last year at the Sundance Film Festival. I have always had a certain love for indie movies even though I pretend not to care much about them because I don't want people to think I'm a hipster.
Son of Rambow is is not a life changing movie, and nor does it pretend to be. It is a coming-of-age film about two boys coming from different backgrounds growing up in 1980's England trying to enter a film competition by making a sequel to Rambo. Its got all the elements an indie movie needs - a good soundtrack consisting of unknown bands, quirky characters, bizarre minor characters, a deep and meaningful message at the end of it shown by a minor incident that occurs during the film, and a feel-good finale.
What starts as a small movie project between two friends slowly envelopes the whole school because of a certain French exchange student and ends up straining their friendship. What I loved about the film was the changing dynamics between the central characters, where the shy kid (Will) suddenly becomes cool throughout the school and the aggressive bully (Lee Carter) is the one who wants their film to stay between the two of them. The film has some really lovely poignant moments particularly in the scene where Will's mother tells her bossy, overbearing priest to literally fuck off or the scene when Will and Lee Carter decide to become blood brothers for life, and the scene when Lee tells Will why he always puts up with his older brother's bullying and defends him. There are some great scenes that show Will's imagination running wild. It kind of reminded me of the time when I was a kid and my imagination used to flit from one thing to another before I could even realize where my mind was going.
The in-between filming scenes of the documentary are most amusing especially the ones after Didier (the French exchange student) and his troop join in. The final product is utterly hilarious, and I love the bit when Lee's brother leaves him a serious and deep message while playing the Scarecrow in the final scene. In short, this is a cute movie that you should watch when you're in your house, on a rainy day, wanting to watch a light movie without any deep subtext, and can't think of anything else.
PS: One of the boys in the film is going to play my favourite character, Eustace Clarance Scrubb in the next Narnia movie, and I can't wait for it to come out!
PPS: An additional reason to watch this film is because its got Chuck Bass, playing Lee's older brother (with an adorable British accent that takes time getting used to even though that is Ed Westwick's actual accent), and anything that has Chuck's approval is definitely worth watching.