A film that very much honours the mod movement of the 1960’s, The Pebble and the Boy takes the classic sounds and look of the era and brings them to the forefront, packaging them within a standard, though nonetheless enjoyable road-trip narrative.
The reason that mods are such a large influence on the film’s plot stems from the tragic hook at its core, with a funeral service indicating the death of someone substantial to the proceedings. That someone happens to be the late father of teenaged John (Patrick McNamee) who, despite not really knowing his dad, opts to honour him by scattering his ashes along Brighton’s beach in the south of London.
It’s a sweet gesture, and one that sets up a potentially entertaining road trip. Instead of a standard car however, John takes advantage of his father’s Lambretta scooter and decides to take it for a test drive to his intended destination, some 200 miles away. What follows is rather convenient and coincidental, but it is either consistently entertaining or emotional, with the vibrant injection of Nicki (Sacha Parkinson), the rebellious daughter of one of John’s father’s friends, providing the jolt Chris Green’s coming-of-age dramedy so desperately needs.
Though it easily could have been a film set in the era it so lovingly respects, The Pebble and the Boy‘s modern aesthetic still allows the film to bathe in its nostalgic temperament, with its soundtrack particularly harkening back. This celebratory feel also helps the film move along at a relatively enjoyable pace, with its not-entirely-original plotting fortunately never advancing as one of its downfalls.
A simple but effective film, The Pebble and the Boy may not take an exciting route with its journey, but the destination, familiar as it is, is no less warm and comforting.
The Pebble and the Boy is available now on Digital in Australia.