Film review: Faintheart (2008), directed by Vito Rocco
Something as strange as a film made in collaboration with MySpace, believe it or not. Although I suppose back in 2008, people still used that site.
Richard (Eddie Marsan) works in a hardware store during the day and dresses up as a Viking at night and at the weekends, together with his other battle re-enactment buddies, amongst which is the Trekkie Julian (Ewen Bremner) who runs a comic book and gaming store. Richard’s a nobody, but he loves his son Martin (Joseph Hamilton) dearly. His wife Cath (Jessica Hynes), on the other hand, has had enough his long hair and his tunics and wants out. All Richard wants is to get his wife and son back – and beat the other re-enactment team (headed by Kevin Eldon).
Young Martin, on the other hand, fancies a girl called Emily (Chloe Hesar), but how can you impress her when you keep being bullied because your dad is a freak who likes dressing up and who forces you to come along to events, even though it’s so uncool? P.E. teacher Gary (Paul Nicholls) gives him a few pointers on how to get girls to like you, and he should know …
The film also stars the hilarious Bronagh Gallagher as Maggie, a single mum who sure knows her Klingons from her Romulans!
Filmed around a breathtakingly beautiful, autumnal Ludlow in Shropshire, Faintheart is a romantic comedy about geeks, saying it’s okay to be a Trekkie and/or a re-enactment nerd – and still get the girl. Which is always a plus when you’re a fellow geek.
Richard was sympathetic as a character, but I think the biggest laughs came thanks to Julian. His meeting with a fellow Trekkie he found over the Internet is hilarious. Perhaps the biggest star is actually Martin, because he does a great job of being the embarrassed son caught in the middle. Very good performance.
It’s a shame that this film is virtually unheard of, because it’s not bad. It’s not the bestest movie ever made either, perhaps, but it’s actually funny, and in a cheerful, good-natured kind of way too. You care for the characters and want them to live happily ever after, and that’s more than I can say about some other films. Well worth a watch.
3.4 out of 5 campfires.