Swallows and Amazons review – nostalgic adaptation

Arthur Ransome’s 1930 classic of bracing outdoor fun is brought to big-screen life

There’s something undeniably appealing about this non-threatening adaptation of Arthur Ransome’s 1930 children’s novel. On one hand, it’s as British as drizzle and buttered crumpets at tea-time; on the other, however, it has very little in common with the culturally diverse country in which we now live. The film taps into a particularly rich vein of nostalgia for what is a perceived to be a simpler time. It’s a salve to the conscience of any parent who feels that their smartphone-addicted kids are not getting their full quota of whittling, woodcraft and bracing outdoorsy fun. And it’s set in a world in which bunting flutters, cakes are baked and the baddies – foreigners, naturally – can be defeated by a spot of derring-do and determination, combined with some nifty sailing skills. Despite an incongruous action sequence on the roof of a puttering steam train and a beefed-up espionage plot, the thrills here are reassuringly low-key.

Watch the trailer for Swallows and Amazons.

Contributor

Wendy Ide

The GuardianTramp

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