“Mr. Stink” Review
Dec 24, 2012
Written by Jambareeqi
Based on the children’s book by comedian David Walliams, “Mr. Stink” is a British television movie that aired around the Christmas season of 2012. It follows a schoolgirl called Chloe, who befriends an eccentric homeless man that goes by the name of Mr. Stink. Chloe lets her new acquaintance live in her shed without her parent’s permission and takes care of him despite his ungrateful nature.
Before I go into detail about my opinion on “Mr. Stink”, I’d like to address that I’m no David Walliams fan myself and consider “Little Britain” to be one of the worst sketch shows ever broadcast (Recycling the same joke in different settings). However, my bitter dislike towards Walliams did not affect my viewing of “Mr. Stink” at all. In fact, I really enjoyed this television film how corny it was at times, this is thanks to the performances from all the cast. One stand out performance comes from Sheridan Smith (Gavin & Stacey), who plays Chloe’s bigoted and cruel mother that’s attempting to become a local MP throughout the film’s story, Sheridan gives a strong personality to her some what mean spirited character.
Another performance that stands out has to be Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey), who plays the title character with a sense of charm and wonder. The rest of the performers don’t match the strength of Smith or Bonneville but do an excellent job at conveying their characters. It’s a very simplistic narrative but the driving force derives from the comedic elements within the script but it’s also capable of expressing moments of drama too. However, I have some major problems with the script too and they both involve the final act of the movie. Towards the end of the film, Mr. Stink has a word with Chloe’s mother about the values of family BUT we never see him having this chat with her… the film skips past this conversation and misses out a potentially powerful scene. It’s dissatisfying.
My other problem with the final act has to be the ending itself and how contrived it is. You see, towards the end of the film, Chloe’s parents are both employed yet the film ends on a cheesy family Christmas where everyone is given flashy presents and the walls are decorated with festivity. It’s never explained where the money for all this came from and it gives the impression that the writers were forcing a sentimental Christmas day scene without any consideration towards continuity. Maybe an alternative ending could have even worked? You know? The valuable lesson of what Christmas is all about? Oh well.
Despite these faults within the climax of the story, “Mr. Stink” is a bit of silly fun that certainly has seasonal charm. It could have been a bit meatier in terms of it’s narrative but it’s the great dialogue and memorable performances that save the film from being something potentially forgettable.