The Goob is an exciting debut feature for from director Guy Myhill. A shrewdly understated take on the coming-of-age drama in the middle of East Anglia, where a directionless kid fresh out of school is left facing that inevitable summer of limbo enjoying the final years of being a teenager before you enter the real world.
First time actor Liam Walpole gives an excellent turn as “Goob”; he lives with his mum who runs a local diner but she shows the stereotypical signs of struggling to keep it all in the balance. It doesn’t help that she’s married to a womanising, argumentative, physically violent, stock car racer called Gene (Sean Harris), who storms about the place like an Otter on crack. His influence on Goob’s life is far from positive, and his tyrannical attitude to Goob’s freedom is irritating to watch.
Cinematically, it’s incredibly easy on the eye. Simon Tindall has captured the hazy nature of adolescent exploration beautifully, drawing on the elements available to him in the flat landscape of Suffolk, showing all the assets that give UK Indie cinema that special feeling. Elsewhere, it’s a relatively restrained affair, with minimal dialogue, sparing splashes of music, but all used with great effect.
It’s extremely minimal though, but as Goob goes through his summer making friends and one particularly sour enemy, it’s hard not to feel a little entranced by his unassuming will to just exist and have fun. Many British Indies struggle to strike a chord, falling into tired clichés, regurgitating the same thing we’ve seen before but in a different location. Not Goob. The Goob is different, and it’s fantastic.