Before we begin with the synopsis of Spud, a song just popped into my head and I wanted to share it with you:
Sure, that's about a girl growing up with magical powers but Mildred Hubble is Spud. Spud is the kid who can't catch a break as he's sent off to boarding school in the early 90's. He's not fit, he's not popular and he's still on the assembly line to adult hood... in other words his balls have yet to be grabbed by gravity bringing him into the world of girls and teenage angst... that doesn't mean he doesn't worry about it though. Plus living in South Africa in 1990 with all the political movements isn't ideal but at least Nelson Mandela gets released.
Spud is a coming of age story written and directed by Donovan Marsh based on a novel by John Van De Ruit. My sister went to boarding school but then again she had one of those hobby things... Me? I was like spud and the idea of boarding school was insanity on a stick, bullies were hard enough during regular school hours but to be around them day and night is just masochistic!
John played by Troye Sivan gets the nick name Spud from an unfortunate incident in the shower from boys that are a little more 'developed' than he is and that's the tone of the film throughout. Spud battles with his ability to fit in whilst waiting for puberty to kick in and discovering the delights of girls, well his first crush.
Spud is a film about the troubling years when your body is changing, your mind is randy and your need to belong is at its highest. It's close to the cuff and a little too randy at times for a comedy drama featuring kids this young but then again I'm turning into an old prude.
The problems Spud faces aren't just his own but those around him like the teacher with a drinking habit played by John Cleese who hasn't lost it in his later years, his ability to be welcoming but also have issues of his own is immense and young Troye Sivan is very lucky to star opposite this talented comedic legend.
Then we have the victim of the school who eventually becomes a friend to Spud when he needs a friend the most, a victim who plays a big part in Spuds mind set, his outcome by the time the film comes to the a close. You can always rely on your friends right? Through the bullying, the loneliness and even for advice about girls. When you find friends who like you for you and don't just want to be part of the common herd then you've found your place in life... right?
Spud is a great little film with laughs, loves and all the angst kids go through as the big bad puberty monster knocks on their door. Me? I was the creative kid who believed you had to perform an Act of Valour to get your balls to drop... whilst I didn't believe my class mates were Batman, Superman or any one of the X-Men, they had to be doing something I wasn't and the same goes for spud.
It's witty, it's fun and a good way to spend a Sunday afternoon! Sometimes being and believing in yourself is better than losing yourself! It also has a very strange rendition of the musical Oliver! It has practically everything!!