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Product Description Acclaimed actor Richard E. Grant's Wah-Wah is a semi-autobiographical 'coming-of-age at the end of an age' story, told through the eyes of young Ralph Compton. Set during the last gasp of the British Empire in Swaziland, South East Africa, in 1969, the plot focuses on the dysfunctional Compton family whose gradual disintegration mirrors the end of British rule.
As an 11-year-old, Ralph witnesses his mother's adultery with his father's best friend. His parents divorce and Ralph is sent to boarding school. His father, Harry (Gabriel Byrne), not only loses his wife (Miranda Richardson) and best friend, but also his position as Minister of Education with the coming of Independence, prompting his rapid descent into alcoholism.
Now 14, Ralph (Nicholas Hoult) returns home to discover that his father has re-married an American ex-air 'hostess' named Ruby whom his father has known all of six weeks. As round a peg as you could find in this square holed society, Ruby (Emily Watson) ridicules the petty snobbery of the restless colonials whose chief amusements are gin, adultery, and their foppish slang of 'toodle-pip' and 'hobbly-jobbly' ' that Ruby identifies as sounding like Wah-Wah.
Although Ralph is initially wary of Ruby, he bonds with her as his father's drinking escalates and becomes dangerously out of control. It's this chaos that stokes Ralph's inner turmoil, and eventually forges his creative mind.
More Stills from Wah-Wah (click for larger image)
In this volatile mix, a fragile boy makes his way to manhood maneuvering through his crumbling family life.
I especially like the clever way that newsreels of the actual emancipation event were so artistically inserted into the film--beautifully done.
Gabriel Byrne, Miranda Richardson and Emily Watson formed a very strong iron triangle performance for the whole movie.
Didn't like this movie. Didn't hold my interest. Cast didn't meld.
This is a weird movie peopled with fascinating characters, well-acted but a bit more disturbing than entertaining. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Janis Hendler
I purchased this movie because I'm a fan of Nicholas Hoult and wanted to see some of his other work. Read morePublished 13 months ago by KD
And to think that it was both written and directed by the British-Swazi actor, Richard E. Grant. It completely blows my mind! Read morePublished on March 12, 2013 by Katherine
This film takes place in Africa at the end of the British rule there. It is an interesting film based on the director's childhood there. Read morePublished on December 18, 2012 by UniversityDoc
The acting in this movie is terrific. In fact I bought it because of Emily Watson and Gabriel Byrne. But the story didn't hang together for me. Sorry ... I can't recommend it.Published on August 29, 2012 by drcg
With this first movie as a director, British actor Richard E.Grant presents to us a biopic on his own childhood memories in Swatziland, at the time the British crown decided to... Read morePublished on August 22, 2010 by Omnes