Wah-Wah (2005)

R   |    |  Comedy, Drama


Wah-Wah (2005) Poster

Ralph witnesses the disintegration of his parents' marriage through adultery and alcohol during the last gasp of the British Empire in Swaziland in 1969. Ralph finds his new step-mother is the only one who understands his inner turmoil.


6.8/10
2,978


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  • Nicholas Hoult at an event for Wah-Wah (2005)
  • Gabriel Byrne in Wah-Wah (2005)
  • Nicholas Hoult at an event for Wah-Wah (2005)
  • Nicholas Hoult in Wah-Wah (2005)
  • Gabriel Byrne and Nicholas Hoult in Wah-Wah (2005)
  • Richard E. Grant in Wah-Wah (2005)

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12 June 2006 | cliffhanley_
Well-paced ensemble multi-layered but 'old-fashioned' movie
It was fairly brave of Richard E Grant to 'come out' as a director when acting would be such a secure option for him; particularly now as the role of director, especially of relatively small independent films such as this, involves all the hustling traditionally taken care of by the producer. Although he has been low-profile as an actor for some time, paying the rent by sticking to supporting roles ( lots of them, though), at the same time he has been fighting to get this semi-autobiographical saga up to the screen. A look at a disintegrating family could be set anywhere, but this is specific to Swaziland, where the collapse of the British Empire and the end of Deference mirror the uncertainties of young Ralph Compton's life. As a little boy (Zachary Fox) he finds himself in the back seat while his mother has it off with her husband's best friend; then as an adolescent rebel (Nicholas Hoult of 'About a Boy') he has to cope with mum's desertion and dad's alcoholism while discovering 'A Clockwork Orange' and experimenting with becoming a droog. There are so many concurrent plots that every time you think, Ah, so it's that kind of film, the layers shift again. Coming-of-age, end-of-empire, adults being stupid and cruel, the class system and white supremacy turning sclerotic; these elements weave and thrust against the African landscape and inbred British colonialism. This is the world that the kids will inherit. Celia Imrie and Fenella Woolgar are a joy to watch as they 'do' the snooty dames with such natural outraged dignity, but the surprise is to see the so-English Emily Watson make such a convincing low-class Manhattanite. The old ways are going out the window, serenaded as they go by the kind of lush, romantic soundtrack that also had had its time, and adds another taste of verisimilitude. Comparisons are useful, not odious, and it's fair to relate this kind of breathless well-paced ensemble production to Altman. One last touch of the Old Ways: it stops when it gets to the ... CLIFF HANLEY

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Details

Release Date:

2 June 2006

Language

English


Country of Origin

UK, France, South Africa

Filming Locations

Swaziland

Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$55,304 14 May 2006

Gross USA:

$234,750

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,846,148

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