I Know You Know (15)
Time Out rating:
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Time Out says
Tue Apr 6 2010It’s been more than a decade since Justin Kerrigan’s debut, ‘Human Traffic’, and the Welsh director finally returns to cinemas with with this sparky, moving and very personal film that draws on his own memories of growing up in the 1980s. Most dads are heroes in the eyes of their boys, even if everyone else thinks they’re raving lunatics, and that’s the idea explored in this clever and sensitive film about Charlie (Robert Carlyle), a spiv-like figure who darts about his rundown Welsh neighbourhood in 1988 as if he’s being chased by an unknown enemy and confides in his 11-year-old son Jamie (Arron Fuller) that he’s working for the Secret Services. That he’s probably not Port Talbot’s answer to 007 is clear early on, but Kerrigan is brave enough to allow the truth to emerge gradually over an entire film.
All of which leaves the director ample room to explore at close quarters, and from a peculiar and rewarding perspective, the relationship between this father and son. It’s a film told largely through careful performances, and Fuller is excellent as the boy, capturing both the wide-eyed, loyal acceptance of a young son who wants to believe anything and everything his father says and the protective instinct of a child of a vulnerable parent. Carlyle, meanwhile, gives one of his best performances as the troubled and hyperactive father, further proving that he has excellent taste when picking smaller British films (‘Summer’, ‘The Unloved). Modest in means but rich in warmth, it’s an eminently likeable film and all credit to Kerrigan for finding a new way of exploring the age-old story of dads and their boys.
Author: Dave Calhoun