The Pebble and the Boy has been a long time coming to the screen. But, thanks in part to a crowdfunding campaign in 2018, three years later Salford screen writer and director, Chris Green has seen his Mod-inspired vision through to a bank holiday cinema release.
The film opens with a cortege of scooters at the funeral of Phil Parker – ‘once a Mod always a Mod’. It seems there’s a whole generation of Phil’s friends who know instinctively what that means. But for his 19-year-old son, John (Patrick McNamee), it’s a mystery he needs to unravel if he is going to understand more about his dad.
From here, the film takes a deep dive into Mod culture – its music, fashion and obsession with scooters. At the same time, it is much more than a nostalgia fest. The film is a heart-warming and at times gritty modern-day coming of age story, where self-discovery comes for John from learning more about those closest to him and finding surprises along the way.
Although he doesn’t know much about Mod culture, John knows Phil loved his Quadrophenia-inspired, Lambretta scooter and had heard about his legendary trips to Brighton, the spiritual home of the Mod. To honour his dad’s memory, John decides against his mum’s advice to take a road trip on the old scooter to scatter his dad’s ashes off Brighton pier.
After the initial opening scene, the movie takes a while to get going, but stick with it. Once this road movie takes off it’s a ride you’ll want to jump on board with.
As you’ll imagine, John’s journey south isn’t always a smooth one. But once fire-cracker, Nicki (Sacha Parkinson) joins him, her high energy and spontaneity means there’s never a dull moment. There’s also a cameo role from rock chic, Patsy Kensit as one of Phil’s eccentric pals from his younger days.
The title of the film is taken from the final track on Modfather, Paul Weller’s eighth studio album, As Is Now, and the soundtrack features tracks from his solo career and with bands The Jam and The Style Council.
The Pebble and The Boy’s music credentials make it a sure fire hit for Weller fans and old skool mods, while its feel good narrative give it wide appeal that is much needed for audiences right now and could make it one of the most popular British films of the year.
The Pebble And The Boy is in cinemas nationwide from 27 August 2021.