Spud is a comedy (based on the novel of the same name by John van de Ruit) starring actor Troye Sivan as a fourteen year old John “Spud” Milton. Set in 1990, Spud earns a scholarship to attend an elite boy’s boarding school in the Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa, at a time when the country is enthralled by the release of Nelson Mandela. What also seems intriguing is the physical underdevelopment that earns Spud his nickname and the epic adventure that ensues when he meets his adventurous group of dorm mates, known as the Crazy Eight, and English teacher, the Guv (John Clease).
Spud is a funny, light-hearted, and witty coming-of- age story that explores the journey of puberty from a boy’s perspective (alas in a dysfunctional family and crazy school environment). Entertaining and gripping in its well-paced humorous narrative and imagery, Spud also provides beautiful and dramatic cinematography in which the school grounds serve as a stunning backdrop to the laugh-out- loud drama.
The subject of adolescence and coming-of-age during high school may not be new to most audiences (think Dead Poets Society), but with the authentic and surprisingly heartwarming and charming twist from Spud, the film is undoubtedly worth watching.