As you may know, one of South Africa’s most anticipated movie releases hits the big screen on the 3rd of December, Spud the Movie. I was unfortunately unable to attend the premiere here in Durbs on Friday eve, but my mate, Rich Mclennan, went down to the Pavilion, and gave this sterling review
It was always going to be a challenge taking the hilarious Spud novel and turning it into a film but Donovan Marsh (Director and Screenplay) certainly didn’t disappoint. The film is clearly no small budget affair and is sure to get international acclaim.
“Spud” for those of you who haven’t read the book by local author John van de Ruit (shame on you!) is a 13 year old boy who’s real name is John Milton, yes, like the poet… It’s 1990 and young “Spud” is attending the prestigious Michaelhouse School on a full scholarship and this is where the fun begins. Our very unique South African idiosyncrasies and the changing political climate of 1990 only add to the winning formulae that makes this film so relevant to us.
Throw in 7 crazy dorm mates with nicknames like “Rambo”, “Boggo”, “Fatty”, “Gecko”, “Rainman”, “Mad Dog” and er Simon and you know you are in for absolute mayhem, the boys do not disappoint.
John Cleese steals the show as young Spud’s English teacher and mentor “The Guv”, his hilarious profanities will have you in stitches. Young South African born actor Troye Sivan who play “Spud” will be a name to watch in the future, the boy oozes talent and will be nice to know he honed his skills on our sunny shores. Local Durban comedian Aaron Mcilroy adds to the talented cast with his brilliant performance as “Spud’s” eccentric Dad.
It is hard to fault this film, cinematography is inspiring with the impressive Michaelhouse setting the perfect scene. The soundtrack is full of 80’s classic and the attention to detail on the set, particularly with 80 and 90’s memorabilia is impeccable, right down to original rice crispy boxes and dodgy garden furniture that we all once had.
If there is just one small fault it is just that there seemed insufficient time to get to know some of the other characters better. Sure, a lot of stuff has been missed but it would have been impossible to cram it into an 80 odd minute film.
“Spud” get’s a 10/10 and is bound to get excellent international exposure both for our local talent (on and off screen) and beautiful country. We can certainly expect to see the next 2 books making their way to the silver screen in due course, move over Harry Potter and Hogwarts there is a new ‘kid’ on the block and he is sure to keep us spellbound for the next couple of years.