Offbeat and honest, this capricious, free-spirited comedy flows with child-like whimsy.
Son of Rambow takes place in England nearly three decades ago looking at the milieu of pubescent Will (Bill Milner).
Will resides in a puritanical-like community with single mom (Jessica Stevenson), which doesn't bode so well for school life.
Garth Jennings's autographical-like picture makes good on the bully, here Carter, played by Will Poulter. Happenstance gives Will an opportunity to realize his imagination in Carter's project. It's a home-movie takeoff on Sylvester Stallone's First Blood.
The story, smartly devised by Jennings, invites complications from the likes of a French exchange student (Jules Sitruk) and his entourgage. And, Will's growing relationship with Carter may be hindered with the former's church figuring lurking with disdain.
Son of Rambow has an audacious wit and versimilitude to it, getting into the lives of kids beginning to realize more about their family and friends. The interplay between the characters is thought out with purpose, even the adults offer noteworthy backup, not left on the backburner like so many Hollywood riffs on childhood.
The odd couple rapport between Milner and Poulter enlighten an ebullient potpourri that includes Will's hand-drawn creations for visual effect. A little bravado lightly covers teen antics and insecurities with peer pressure as the lensing and seguing helps it all go down nicely when the nostalgia and slapstick reaches a more serious timbre. Son of Rambow highlights with much perception the ability of all of us to be creative.