In Review: The Goob

by Daniel Goodwin on 29/05/2015


Writer and Director Guy Myhill’s feature debut is a pensive tale of adolescent wonder and angst in rural Norfolk. At the centre of his tale is the Goob (Liam Walpole): a juvenile oddball and black sheep of the settlement who wanders through a land of scrap yards, pumpkin fields and dirt tracks while friends and family cavort during times of hardship and conflict. The Goob (the film) provides an intriguing snapshot of life in a struggling community but is often rasping, tiresome and capricious, boasting a plethora of off-kilter scenarios loosely stitched in a slapdash attempt to form a narrative.

Myhill’s rugged execution and hand-held docu-drama style blend well with the bright, rural visuals and playful protagonists but the story is a patchwork of displaced sequences in which characters meander without purpose or direction. The Goob lives with his brother Rodney (Joe Copsey), mother (Sienna Guillory), and her unhinged, tattooed boyfriend (Sean Harris). Operating half oblivious to the troubled folk around him, Goob views the world through rose-tinted eyes while dodging altercations and falling for local girl Eve (Marama Corlett). Myhill’s fractured hamlet is a whimsical elucidation, possibly presented in this manner to show how his protagonist perceives the world, yet Goob’s gratingly kooky demeanour is vociferously modish.

Brandishing disregard to the adversity experienced by those around him, Goob appears anomalous in the film’s working class culture and comes across as unlikeable due to his conduct and inability to relate or connect with others. Goob aggravates adults, friends and leaves the viewer with no one to empathise with. Sean Harris portrays another deplorable psycho weasel, Walpole’s Goob is mawkishly unbalanced and other characters take drugs, drag race, lurk in the background of sex scenes, break into spontaneous squirrel impersonations and walk across hot coals at house parties (when in Norfolk).

The Goob has some interesting moments yet lacks depth and a solid structure on which to hang its wonderful visuals. It is a quaint but confused oddity that strides nonchalant through dream-like sequences with a gentle wind chime score. Meanwhile, its story roves, delivering condescending misrepresentations of a troubled community without the depth, drama or likeable characters to generate the required empathy to make a connection.

Daniel has awarded The Goob two Torches of Truth


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