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|Index||15 reviews in total|
OK, I haven't seen the movie yet - heck, I'm only about 2/3 of the way
through the book - but I just want to let the SA reviewers know that if
the book is any indication, stop worrying about whether international
viewers/readers will get it.
All the descriptors and comparisons - coming-of-age, Catch-22, Lord of the Flies - are inadequate. Spud transcends any comparison to become its own unique moment in world history and personal history. It's not only young John Milton's maturing to manhood, but the entire nation's maturing out of apartheid that we see played out here in subtle, powerful parallel.
It's a magnificent, universal story that rings with truth, and I am so very happy my friend Sue, in Cape Town, recommended it.
When I first read Spud, it made a huge impact on me. I saw the book as
near perfect. Of course, when I heard about the film, I was jumping up
and down. Today I went to see it. What a disappointment. It has it's
strong points: 1. John Cleese 2. Troy Sivan 3. John Cleese 4. John
Cleese 5. Interesting cinematic interpretation of dairy-style book
Unfortunately I can't think of much more. Troy Sivan is the perfect cast, he sings amazingly, acts amazingly and looks the part. John Cleese, well, I don't really have to say anything.
The story is not at all true to the 'near-perfect' book. It lets out most of the high points of the book as well as all the subtleties that the fans of Spud were hoping to see in the movie. And where it does contain important points of the book, it is in some way changed. This was disappointing to say the least.
If you have read the book and have already developed a firm mental image of the characters, go see the film. If you haven't read the book, read it first and then go see it, or better yet, rent it on DVD. This is not a film that needs to be seen on the big screen.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
One Friday, I had a really difficult day (you know, one of those days
where everything goes wrong
). I really needed some relaxation. Then, I
remembered the place where I can switch off more than just my
cellphone, the cinema. Arriving at the cinema, I saw the Spud poster.
Now, I've seen the book in the bookshops, saw the good reviews
everywhere and decided to check it out for myself. People, what can I
say- I was stunned from the moment that the movie started. NEVER
before, in my 22 years alive, have I seen such an amazing movie
produced in South Africa.
The movie is about a young boy (John Milton, played by the amazingly talented actor Troye Sivan) whose parents are far beyond crazy and his Gran (Wombat) who lost her marbles completely. It's his first year at an elite boys- only private school. He's just an ordinary, skinny boy and is suddenly surrounded by boys with nicknames like Boggo (a porn addict), Gecko (a boy as white as a ghost) , Rambo (the dormitory leader), Rain Man (who is completely demented) and Mad Dog (who loves hunting) John later gets the nickname (Spud) when he has to shower with the boys See for yourself why he gets that nickname...
As sensitive and innocent as he is, the 13 year old Spud finds it difficult to adapt and also to share a dormitory with them. The movie is also about Spud's first steps to manhood and how he experiences it. He discovers alcohol, girls and literature!
Later Spud, the innocent and sensitive boy, becomes more relaxed and starts to join the others in their 'naughty adventures', like sneaking out at night for a 'highly illegal night swim' outside the school. Spud's best friend Gecko (who isn't a very health boy) will also have you laughing and crying a lot in the movie. John (Spud) possesses a wonderful talent- singing- that will amaze the entire school and the girls and obviously you, the viewer! (The actor Troye Sivan did all the singing in the movie himself).
This movie is filled with a wonderful blend of colorful characters that provide entertainment beyond your wildest imagination. There is The Guv (played by the amazing International actor John Cleese) who teaches Spud more about literature and women The Guv is known for his hilarious quotes like: 'Women, can't live with them, can't ship them off to Zimbabwe' (John Cleese was an excellent choice for the role!)
The movie was shot entirely on location where the the best- selling book of John van De Ruit is also based- at the Michaelhouse School in the beautiful Natal Midlands. The writer also completed his high school career here. The Beautiful scenery of the Midlands and old school building, and 80's and early 90's soundtrack also adds pizazz to the movie, making it unforgettable!
The movie was edited beautifully and contains all the important story lines as read in the book, which means you won't be disappointed if you read the book first! Unfortunately, some story lines (like the Namibia Wombat storyline) had to be left out as the movie only allows 90 minutes of material. The screenplay was magnificent.
The movie also features never-seen-before beauties from our own country, such as 'Mermaid' (played by Genna Blair) that will be Spud's first kiss, the gorgeous Amanda (played by Charlbi Dean Kriek), Tanit Phoenix as the flirty'Eve' and more talented actors, all from South Africa!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The books were absolutely hilarious and i liked the character of Spud
in the books but in the movie he just seems really wimpy, annoying, a
grass, posh and desperate to be cool.
Also in the books the dad and wombat character are so funny but in the film they were really boring, and didn't seem as crazy.
Also the character of The Guv was also no where near as mad or crazy or funny as he is in the books!
It could of been so so much better. If you have only seen the film, don't just base your opinion on that; read the books too!
Overall i would say read the books DEFINITELY but the film is not really worth seeing at all.
I was very excited to finally get a copy of the movie here in the USA
after reading all the books. Unfortunately it was horrible. The
wonderful stories that had me laughing for hours and days on end were
ruined by terrible acting and lame storytelling (script writing). Jon
VD Ruit seemed to have been eager to sell the movie rights and surely
must have felt sick at seeing this outcome. The humor was lost, in fact
was never added to the movie. Instead it was an odd mix of drama,
misery and usage of terrible actors (minus John Cleese). I have a
feeling they had some or other popularity contest in South Africa to
select the 'Crazy Eight'and the females who Spud has a crush on,
because not one of them seemed to be actors- it sincerely felt like a
bad group play at a public school, rather than a big movie. The Spud
character did OK considering, his father who was hilarious in the
books, just came on as odd in the movie and I had to strain to hear
what he was saying. Indeed it felt as if the director wanted to do too
much in this movie, but instead ended up with snippets of a little bit
of humor, a little bit of drama, a little bit of 'High School Musical'
a little bit of this and that, and so on. It all came down to being one
of the worst movies I have ever seen. I tried to laugh at some moments-
that felt forced, I tried to see what others might enjoy in it- I could
Sorry but this was an utter waste of time. Sadly greed and a rush to capitalize on the success of a hugely popular book, have made a pathetic movie. I highly recommend to anyone who loved the books, do not watch the movie.
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