Dir: Nick Moran
Starring: Rupert Friend, Ioan Gruffud, Natasha McElhone, Con O’Neill, James Fox, Jodie Whittaker and David O’Hara.
Do you like films that are based on true stories? How about ones based on books? Inspirational? Well look no further as The Kid is all of those mixed into one. The film is based upon the book The Kid by Kevin Lewis, it is his life story. Kevin (played as an adult by Rupert Friend) has had a tough life, he was raised in an abusive home, tossed around to different carers. He can’t seem to catch a break no matter what he does; however one day things change and his new path in life is put into motion by his school teacher (Ioan Gruffud). He gets placed with a family, and it seems like he might have a chance of breaking out. Nothing ever goes according to plan and he finds himself involved with the local criminal’s and earns the street name ‘The Kid’. Is he able to rise above all of these hardships?
The Kid is a typical film, we’ve seen this time and again. It is a running theme throughout British and Australian drama, that a poor or abused (or both) person finds themselves at the low point in their life. Things then happen which allow them to rise above, and maybe have a chance at living a worth while life. You’d think with all these films that life in our respective countries is horrible, that we’re all abused and everything sucks. Well no it isn’t all like that, but there definitely are people in those situations. I like to see films that try and do something a little different, and I think this film had an edge because of the source material.
It is a bit of a mixed bag, the film does not really take off until Kevin is older and Rupert Friend is at the helm. The earlier stuff is done in such a way it isn’t easy to get on board with. Natasha McElhone as his abusive mother is a caricature, she is not realistic and the character is far too over the top. She was not easy to watch, and normally she is a very solid and likable actress. Everyone else though was quite good, and it was nice to see Ioan Gruffud in a film again, even if it was a small role. Rupert Friend is the star here, he really became Kevin and hit all the right notes. Seeing the real Kevin, and looking back at his performance, he was the perfect fit.
If the first block of this film had been as good as the second and third blocks, it would have been an amazing achievement. As it stands it is a solid and above average film and definitely fares better than others of this particular genre. If you can stick with it, this is a film well worth watching, and in the end it does have a positive and inspiring message.
The Australian DVD
The copy I reviewed is a screener, so there are no extra features aside from the films trailer.
Thanks to Bill at Gryphon Entertainment for the copy.