Wah-Wah

Wah-Wah

(2006)
Directed by actor Richard E. Grant (the genius that is Withnail in 'Withnail & I'), a comedy/drama, semi-autobiographical story set in the last days of British-ruled Swaziland.

"Young Ralph Compton (Hoult) witnesses at close quarters his mother’s adultery, hastening the breakdown of his parents’ marriage and his father’s subsequent slide into alcoholism.

By the time Ralph returns from boarding school at 15, they are divorced though their rows continue, even after his father has married Ruby, a brassy American. Through Ruby’s eyes, Ralphie begins to see the British colonials for what they are: a bunch of burned-out snobs and social climbers whose Jeeves And Wooster-ish verbal mannerisms Ruby derides as so much 'wah-wah'." [Empire]

The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 5 ratings, 5 reviews
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It was okay but not fantastic.

Acting was really good and the Richard E. Grant's story is interesting but something about the film didn't really grab me. I already predicted what would happen in the end so it didn't strike me as terribly sad.

Perhaps it is more suited to an older audience.


the first film I have watched in a long time where people didn't move at the end, plenty of emotion experienced, happy, sad, anxious.
window into east Africa, a brief insight into the whole ex pat life style. How alchol can affect family dymanics and destroy relationships
I enjoyed this film it entertained me.


Beautifully done. Stand off-ish & engaging, well acted & an interesting insight into a place & time I knew nothing of.


An interesting and affecting snapshot of a society, a country, and a family in transition. Ralph's nervous facial tic is the most visible indication of just how flawed the facade of his happy homelife is. Despite interludes of geniune happiness this is a family and a Colonial lifestyle on the decline, perhaps even a decline necessary for the establishment of a better future.


BY Anne1 superstar

.....in colonial Africa. Agree with Andrew's "2 Cents". Dont have the same enthusiasm though. Somewhat predictable and certainly not
uplifting, or even lifting for that matter.
See it on a wet day.


The Press Reviews

  • BBC

    On this evidence, Grant has great skill with actors and sharp eye with a camera. Let's hope his next film tackles a more interesting topic... Full Review

  • An unforced, engaging and surprisingly incisive account of the disintegration of British rule in Africa.... Full Review

  • Both acidly funny and very moving... A wry and involving film, "Wah-Wah" is clearly a labor of love for both Grant and his cast. Grant opens up his life, not with embarrassment or explanation but with humanity and gratitude. Emotional, melodramatic and sentimental, the film unabashedly wears its heart on its sleeve, and is the better for it... Full Review

  • Grant proves an excellent, unshowy director and the characters are so strikingly individual and plausible that it's impossible not to be drawn in... Full Review

  • Even if his film is only partially autobiographical, it is amazing that Grant is making movies and not lace doilies in a long-term psychiatric care facility. To label the parents in "Wah-Wah" dysfunctional doesn't adequately describe their wildly inappropriate behavior... Such high drama should be far more compelling to watch than the lackluster "Wah-Wah." The characters may be based on real people, but they fail to spring to life onscreen. As a result, their histrionics often are laughable, like the over-the-top shenanigans in a Douglas Sirk melodrama... Full Review

  • The story lacks focus. The senses blur as wives and ex-wives come and go, and Harry regularly falls off the wagon, only to reform the next day... Full Review

  • Flavorsome performances by a seasoned cast, held in check by Grant's traditional but well-crafted, always cinematic direction... Full Review

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