Customer Review

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Certainly quirky and inventive, 13 Feb 2008
This review is from: Hallam Foe [DVD] (DVD)
Hallam Foe(the unusual name of the central character) is a tale of a troubled grieving teenager living out a classic Freudian Oedipal fantasy. Complete with a wicked Stepmother and the girl of his dreams who just happens to resemble his dead mother (the object of his desires obligingly puts on the deceased's dress at one point), we're definitely not in Kansas anymore. Did Mummy top herself or did the wicked stepmother kill her on the path to Daddy's wealth? Hallam is driven out of his rural lost boys world to scrape a living on the roofs of Edinburgh, continuing his obsessions with spying on the world and sneaking into houses (for goodness sake does nobody fit deadlocks or velux blinds?)

I'm not sure how well the book was translated to the screen- as it's set mostly on the rooftops of Edinburgh I would have fitted it into the quirky Scottish genre inhabited by Iain Banks' "The Wasp Factory", or Irving Welsh's "Trainspotting". The online biographies of the author Peter Jinks just place him as living in Sicily with nothing of his formative background. Certainly the adaptation strives to fit the tale into that inventive offbeat Scottish genre.

Unfortunately the abrupt consequence free ending made me reinterpret all the previous flights of fancy as a misogynistic indulgence. Is the idea just to damn the stepmother and the love interest as rampant tarts and the men as their manipulated fools?

However Jamie Bell was convincing in the unusual role. He still likes to demonstrate the athleticism of a grown up Billy Eliot as he leaps up the chimney stacks. And my, Mr Bell, you have been working out- very impressive in the buff! As films go, it was a cut above the current popcorn fodder.
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Review Details

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3.9 out of 5 stars (27 customer reviews)
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Julie Cutler
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