The Pebble And The Boy: Review. By Jade Roach.
The Pebble and The Boy is a British film self-described as made by the fans, for the fans of mod culture. The film, being a melancholic drama following John Parker (Patrick McNamee), a young mod navigating his life after the death of his father. As someone unfamiliar with this British subculture, The Pebble and The Boy was undeniably a great window into a community I knew so little of. Whilst the plot felt cliché at times and the supporting actress’ role contrived, the film as a whole was enjoyable but not a must-watch.
Chris Green, director of the pebble and the boy, has directed a few films since coming second place at the Northern Soul new writers competition back in 2000 such as Best Laid Plans (2012) and Pretty (2017). Nevertheless, it felt as though this film was very amateur-ish for a man of his experience. Perhaps the daunting task of appeasing to mod culture was overbearing? The backing track was disappointingly unnoticeable, meaning mod classics had to convey a lot of the emotion. This limited selection of emotional music created a bipolar atmosphere as at times the message and direction of the film was clear, and at other times was foggy. The cinematography was decent, leading to a certain connect between the viewer and the film however there wasn’t a great sense of scale which was disappointing to see for a film essentially about a road trip.
As mentioned previously, the supporting character of Nicki (Sasha Parkinson), actions felt forced with little to no motivation, this in turn made intentions unrelatable and the character as a whole fake. Her relationship with John is equally unclear as in some scenes she’s extremely close to him as an ally and a mentor, attempting to push John to see the bigger picture. Yet in others she’s blatantly exploiting the main character for his tickets to a mod gig. On the other hand, the second support character Logan (Max Boast), known for Sex Education, was a well thought out joker, who managed to do the back and forth between genuine kindness and general assholery convincingly.
Overall, the movie was an interesting projection of a culture I feel most know so little of, with a great man character and an even better supporting character. Unfortunately, however, the message of the story was confusing as at most times it was unclear. Another shortcoming would be a loose sense of scale for a story of this type and a disappointingly bland soundtrack leading to a disconnect between the emotions actually conveyed through the film and the emotions that the director would want to convey through this medium.
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