Based on the memoir by Kevin Lewis, The Kid is an intense British drama film which focuses on the theme of child abuse. It is a riveting story, about fighting adversity. It shows that no matter how dark things are, there is a light at end of tunnel.
Kevin Lewis grew up in utter hell, but he didn't follow the same destructive paths as his parents. His mother Gloria (an unrecognizable Natascha McElhone), constantly abused Kevin, both mentally and physically. His father was an alcoholic, whom sometimes helped him and sometimes, gave him a punch. After social services became involved, Kevin was in and out of the system, bouncing from foster home to foster home. He found kindness in the form of a social worker (Bernard Hill), however, his violent inherited attitude became unforgivable to the foster families. Kevin was introverted and fragile in his teen years (played by Augustus Prew), but is able to escape his bleakness with the help of his teacher (Ioan Gruffudd) and the foster parent that makes the biggest impact on him (James Fox).
His teacher was like the good angel because his physical education teacher did nothing to help his situation, even when he saw all the bruises all over his body. But Kevin is tough and smart and just needs a break to fulfill his true potential. Kevin as an adult decides to quit studying to join the striving millionaires, thus attempting to be an entrepreneur.
A kind soul at heart, even adult Kevin (Rupert Friend) is taken advantage of for other people's gain. Even his foster mother turned out to be only looking after her own interests as she wouldn't give Kevin his inherited money or home after his foster father dies. It was important for him to keep the home that meant so much to him as that was the only place where he had some happiness.
Meeting cunning con men along the way and becoming involved in street fights, Kevin soon ended up in the worst possible state. Until, he met the love of his life.
The lovestory is the crucial point in the film showing how love conquers all. His love for Jackie (Jodie Whittaker) is why he wrote the book that the film is inspired by. He wrote the book for the right reasons, out of love. It was originally supposed to be for her eyes only, but she sent it to a book publisher and it went on to become a bestseller. Through the love he felt for his wife he turned his life around. His nightmare became a dream.
Each performance by every actor portraying Kevin were inspiring, however I wish they would have stuck to one actor for the teen/adult portrayals of Kevin. I am sure Augustus Prew could have pulled it off. You have already bonded with one actor and when the actor is changed yet again for the adult Kevin, it starts to take you out of the film and makes it loose it fluidity. You have to get use to them again and their new mannerisms.
One of the first things to strike you about The Kid is the unassuming style it's directed with. Director Nick Moran really captures the 80's grain of TV and film of the time. The way in which Moran directs it just makes it feel all the more real and authentic.
Certainly a triumph over adversity tale, and one that has been told before in different guises, but it's the heart that is put into The Kid that makes it resonate. Everyone involved obviously had a strong connection to the material and the film handles this difficult subject matter with aplomb. The Kid shows you that you have to look in yourself, look at the voice within, and be strong. You also can't rely on other people to dig you out, you must believe in yourself. A fantastic British film you need to check out, just make sure to have tissues handy!
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"The Kid" is an inspirational story of hope and overcoming adversary.