The Pebble And The Boy will be released in cinemas nationwide from Friday August 27, it’s a retrospective tribute to mod culture wrapped up in a feel good story about a young lad wanting to take his father’s ashes from Manchester to Brighton on the back of his old mod styled Lambretta.
Due to his recently deceased dad’s obsession with all things mod, John (Patrick McNamee) his son, wants to take his ashes to Brighton on the scooter left to him after ‘the crash’. Fortunately with the bike still in practically mint condition except for the odd smashed wing mirror (but when your scooter has another 20, who cares?), John sets off for Brighton, despite his mum’s disapproval. He doesn’t get far before the bike breaks down but with the help of a pal of his dad’s, who curiously is also not keen for John to continue his journey either, it’s not long before he’s back on the road this time with the guy’s daughter Nicki (Sacha Parkinson), who he’s bonded with literally overnight. The swearing busty blonde modette lured by the tickets of a Paul Weller concert and the sense of adventure leads John astray for a succession of capers on their mission to Brighton. They meet with more of his dad’s old mod acquaintances including Ronnie (Ricci Harnett) and his wife (Patsy Kensit) and they all join in on the tributes to Phil and the good old mod days full of girls, scooters, fashion, music… and punch-ups. The guys get back on the road this time with Ronnie’s son Logan (Max Boast), who is a bit of a geezer wide-boy. Needless to say after numerous false starts and more peculiar meetings John and his gang make it to Brighton.
Written and directed by Chris Green, clearly a tribute to the mod era loaded with mod references including, like the most famous mod movie of them all Quadrophenia, a nod to the infamous bank holiday fights between the mods and the rockers at the Battle of Brighton Beach in the 60s. It’s nothing like as cult worthy as Quadrophenia, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a bit of a fizz about it. The film is driven along by Sacha Parkinson who plays Nicki, the ballsy northern lass, who has the unenviable task of trying to drag John out of his malaise and get him to Brighton.
Its baffling plot meanderings, extraordinary glib exchanges and terrible scooter riding can mostly be forgiven for its attempt to revive some mod nostalgia. All the iconic mod imagery is there with the scooters, the parkers and sports casual wear. Of course the sound track delivers its own tribute with plenty of hits from the Modfather himself Paul Weller in his various guises from the Jam to the Style Council and his solo stuff too including the title track “The Pebble and the Boy”, all ably supported by other mod bands of the era such as the Chords and Secret Affair. There are other nice touches thrown in that don’t necessary work either, like the cameo from people’s favourite “Mani’ of ‘The Stone Roses’ fame who comes to buy the scooter and is left without a deal by the doe faced John.
Mod fans are likely to enjoy this caper which is a great excuse to indulge in the memories and styles of the time in a present day story but its Richard Curtis like efforts of a twee light-hearted British road trip is at odds with the more subversive mod culture and sadly (spoiler alert) there were no backstage passes to the Paul Weller concert to make up for it in the end.
Film: The Pebble and the Boy
Director: Chris Green
Stars: Patrick McNamee, Sacha Parkinson, Max Boast, Patsy Kensit
Run time: 1hr 41min