Wah wah – the movie

I had a free Village pass to the movies which expired tonight so went to see Wah Wah. I don’t recommend it – but then again it’s not bad. Like a lot of movies these days it has excellent acting. It’s consciously serious and ‘art house’ rather than going for the ratings. It’s about a disintegrating British family in Swaziland at the time of independence.

I found the film very moving in parts – particularly regarding the suffering in silence of the young boy in the story. But nothing really hung together emotionally and the plot was – to borrow from Henry Ford’s description of history ‘one damn thing after another’.

The young boy who you see aged from 11 to 14 cops all the abuse dished out to him without putting up much of a fight – that didn’t ring true to me. And all the characters go through their various dramas, but it’s not too clear what’s driving them, or why they relate to each other as they do.

But it’s well acted. So go see it if you want, but don’t bust a gut. As the movie review site rotten tomatoes summed it up “The ensemble cast is strong, but they get overpowered by the muddled stew of melodrama.”

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Stephen Hill
Stephen Hill
17 years ago

Haven’t seen the film, but I am aware that it is meant to be a semi-autobiographical rendering of the childhood of the actor Richard E. Grant’s (Withnall & I, The Player), who also wrote the script. I did see an interview on BBC Hardtalk Extra with Grant and from the conversation it did come across as more than your average actor-writes-script-vanity-project (I believe Grant has also written a diary of the production process – it is also the first feature filmed in Swaziland).

I guess having Emily Watson in itself is a big drawcard for me. But I’ll probably wait and see what I hear about this one, as Ralf de Heer’s new film and Winterbottom’s playful intertextual take on Sterne’s “Life and Times of Tristam Shandy: Gentleman” look like they definitely require definite trips into town.