Review - Wah-Wah


Emily Watson and Gabriel Byrne in Wah-Wah

Emily Watson and Gabriel Byrne in Wah-Wah

 

 

Richard E Grant’s autobiographical book With Nails (a reference to his film debut in Withnail and I) having been something of a hit, it was probably only a matter of time before he tried his hand at directing. He’s once again in loosely autobiographical territory in this drama set in Swaziland during the late 1960s Indian summer of British colonialism. Grant dissects his cuckoo class through a “personal is political” story – the breakdown of the marriage of his own parents (played by Gabriel Byrne, Miranda Richardson) and the arrival of a new mum (Emily Watson), an American with a clearer, brasher view of matters, a woman who says what she thinks (the Wah-Wah of the title being her description of the way the British ex-pats all talk). It is a familiar story of infidelity, drink, boarding school, colonial manners, servants, snobbery and more drink, and is a solid piece of work, stacked with dependable character actors (hello Celia Imrie and Julie Walters). If it is just a bit soft-boiled, we can perhaps forgive Grant for dulling the pain of parental break-up with the rose tint of nostalgia.
© Steve Morrissey 2006

 

 Wah-Wah – at Amazon

 

 

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Wah-Wah
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imdb poster Wah-Wah
Wah-Wah (2005)
Run time: 120 min
Rating: 6.8
Genres: Drama
Director: Richard E. Grant
Stars: Gabriel Byrne, Emily Watson, Nicholas Hoult
Trivia: Set at the end of the ’60s, as Swaziland is about to receive independence from Great Britain, the film follows the young Ralph Compton, at 12, through his parents’ traumatic separation, … See full summary »
Storyline Set at the end of the ’60s, as Swaziland is about to receive independence from Great Britain, the film follows the young Ralph Compton, at 12, through his parents’ traumatic separation, till he’s 14. It is written and directed by Richard E Grant, and based on true events from Richard E Grant’s childhood. Written by Anonymous
Plot Keywords: swaziland, divorce, alcoholism, cuckold, british imperialism
Box Office Budget: $7,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend: $45,146 (New Zealand) (8 September 2006)
Gross: $135,568 (New Zealand) (15 September 2006)