Review: Scrapper – Independent daughter
Directed by Charlotte Regan
Starring Lola Campbell, Harris Dickinson, Alin Uzun
The struggles of the underclass may seem dire (especially when centred on a 12 year old living alone), but Scrapper resists self-pitying and presents itself in a more joyous manner, helped by the brightly colourful public housing and the immensely assertive nature of its lead character.
Georgie (Lola Campbell) is a feisty and independent 12 year old. In the aftermath of her single mum’s death, she lives alone in the flat, using her street smarts to convince her dole workers and school that she’s being looked after by her Uncle Winston Churchill. She also has a hustle as a bike thief, nicking them off the racks with her friend Ali (Alin Uzun) and selling them to underground markets. But her life gets interrupted by her father, Jason (Harris Dickinson), reentering her life to make sure she still has one parent, despite her efforts to keep things the same.
The ‘scrap’ that the title refers to seems to be a little character tangent of Georgie, using pieces of scrap to find her way to heaven (for obvious reasons). It’s a nice sentimental touch to the story, despite being slight and underdeveloped.
What really makes the film work are Campbell and Dickinson, who bring such breadth to their characters: although initially different, with Georgie being more wild and Jason being more controlling, they eventually meet in the middle as they become closer together as father and daughter.
There are some moments of comedy that come across as quirky little asides in the visual storytelling, like the spiders who are subtitled in a comic book fashion and little snapshots that visualise Georgia’s paranoid childlike imagination. These moments give more of a sense of Georgie’s childlike wonder, though in terms of humour, they unfortunately fall flat. The real humour comes from Georgie in the real world, in the snarky way she tries to assert herself as an adult.
An enjoyable little film about a two-person family trying to come back together, Scrapper could’ve been a bit more enjoyable, with a bit more meat to keep the story interesting and fresh. At just 85 minutes, it still feels like it pads its story out instead of investigating deeper into this estranged father-daughter relationship, though for what it has, it’s a touching tale with an invigorating spirit.