How entertaining? ★★★☆☆
Thought provoking? ★☆☆☆☆
11 April 2011
This a movie review of THE BE ALL AND END ALL.
Opening on two scallys interrupting, with condom water bomb, a couple of teenagers getting intimate, then an energetic tracking shot, and the line, “If I don’t get sex, no-one gets sex.” This sets part of the tone for the rest of the film. However, to think this is some Liverpudlian AMERICAN PIE would be wrong, as this goes into more melancholy territory – with themes of mortality and parental fallibility.
Robbie and Ziggy are two 15 year olds. Straight away the former finds out he has a serious heart condition and is hospital-ridden. The way he discovers this is through his BFF sneaking out some patient notes and basically googling. It appears terminal, and what Robbie wants is to get laid at least once before he dies. This may seem pretty stupid, but it is handled well by all those involved in making this. What I thought was quite interesting, was that you are not sure whether Robbie is in fact terminal – you never hear an adult say it. That means the ending is up in the air – refreshing!
Ziggy has his own issues – he has an absent father that his mother appears to be keeping them separated. She is loving towards her son, but you can’t help but feel that the lies she is spinning is not wholly to his benefit. Props for this kind of characterisation, a bit more than the one-dimensional. Robbie coaxes Ziggy on the mission to find a girl to relieve him of his virginity. The montage following his acceptance of the task is particularly funny – showing the offensive and hilarious ways teenage boys can sometimes view the world. Even though THE BE ALL AND END ALL is both funny and tender, the under-age sex theme doesn’t sit particularly well. Why not have made Robbie 16?
This is well produced and acted, but it’s still not as satisfying as its closest movie sibling, the awesome A ROOM FOR ROMEO BRASS.