The Goob

Film, Drama
3 out of 5 stars
The Goob

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

This poetic British indie makes up for a rambling plot with beautiful Norfolk photography and terrific performances

This evocative, simmering slice of poetic realism may swerve towards cliché at times, but it marks a confident feature debut for director Guy Myhill. In a remote corner of the Norfolk fenlands, cow-eyed teenager Goob (Liam Walpole) has just left school. His browbeaten mother Janet (Sienna Guillory) runs a tumbledown diner, but her attention is firmly focused on her rally-driving boyfriend Gene (Sean Harris), the kind of knotted, musclebound, white-trash psycho who seems to populate a particular strain of British indie films. As the summer unfolds, frustrations between Goob and his stepdad boil and fester, inevitably spilling over into violence.

Myhill handles the tension expertly – despite the wide-open scenery, the film exerts a forceful, pressure-cooker sense of claustrophobic inevitability. Goob is offered multiple routes out of Gene’s steadily closing trap – a blossoming friendship with self-possessed gay kid Elliott (Oliver Kennedy), a romance with migrant worker Eva (Marama Corlett) – but he appears content to remain at home, kicking his heels and waiting quietly for the next disaster.

The lack of momentum may be appropriate for the story and the setting, but Myhill’s refusal to seek emotional closure can be frustrating. Add an overdetermined air of poverty-trap bleakness and some poorly developed female characters, and the result is a film that never quite achieves its potential. Still, it’d be a surprise and a shame if Myhill and his talented young cast don’t find a way to build on their successes here.

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Details

Release details

Release date:
Friday May 29 2015
Duration:
84 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Guy Myhill
Screenwriter:
Guy Myhill
Cast:
Sienna Guillory
Sean Harris
Marama Corlett