Tuesday, 24 August 2010

THE SCOUTING BOOK FOR BOYS DVD review

This new Thomas Turgoose starring film has just been released on DVD.
Watch the trailer and read my review, after the jump...



Having spent a large part of their childhood together living on a caravan park, David (Thomas Turgoose) finds his life in turmoil at the prospect of Emily (Holliday Grainger) having to move away. The pair concoct a plan to keep Emily hidden away from her parents, but when the police get involved in her disappearance, David must perform the role of the worried friend whilst also shielding Emily from the truth about his feelings for her.


They've been friends for years at the park, but just as his affections have grown for her, her attention has drifted towards an older man. David's devotion to her is 100%. He'll do anything to be with her, including some increasingly dark things. Emily confines herself to a nearby cave with no source of food or warmth except that what David provides for her. In many ways this dependence is what David has always wanted from their relationship. Emily may have eyes for Steve (Rafe Spall), but David is certain he can provide what she needs.


This British film is not your average teen romance, landing somewhere between a junior Bonnie and Clyde thriller and a Lynne Ramsey/Shane Meadows drama. I was initially a bit put off because of the title, and I thought I'd seen enough coming of age films this year. But I'm glad I decided to give it a go, because this really was something different and unexpected.


Thomas Turgoose has a fantastically sullen face that's perfect for playing the lovesick puppy. He's consistently proving himself to be adept at playing your average British kid. Holliday Grainger is very sweet as the forthright but innocent young Lolita, and has exactly the kind of character David would fall in love with. There's more to this film than its dysfunctional romance, but to give too much away would spoil it.


Rafe Spall's stepped into a role that would have been earmarked for Paddy Considine 5 years ago. Spall and Considine worked together in Hot Fuzz (as the two Andy's), and there's definitely a touch of A Room For Romeo Brass's Morell to the hapless Steve character. He along with the drunken mother and all the other grown-up inhabitants of the caravan park show the more human but destructive response to this missing girl, unaware that David knows her whereabouts but wants to keep it a secret for himself.


There's a winsomely melancholic soundtrack, taken mostly from Noah and The Whale's debut album. It compliments the romantic nature of the story whilst also offering no warning as to where the story might go. As for the setting, the caravan site is their own personal playground, and the seafronts of Norfolk aid the memories of teen love. Just like a Summer sunset it's quite beautiful and somewhat magical, yet inevitably the darkness starts to take over.


This is an impressive feature debut for director Tom Harper and writer Jack Thorne, turning in a well made and unexpectedly dark film about first love, anchored by great performances from its two young leads. Don't be mislead by the odd title, this is a film to remember.


Verdict




DVD EXTRAS
Trailer
Deleted Scenes

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