A Boy Called Dad (2009) - full transcript

When he becomes a father at the tender age of 14, Robbie's life quickly spirals out of control. Feeling angry and neglected by his own dad, he kick-starts a series of events that will ...

This film contains strong language

They reckon that, when you're drowning,

you see your life flash before you.

I didn't.

HEAVY BREATHING THROUGHOUT

- Not like that, dickhead!
- Sorry.

- I've not got anything.
- S'OK, it's a safe day.
- Monday?

No, knobhead, me cycle!

HEAVY BREATHING CONTINUES

Can't you go on top?

I've just had a double cheeseburger. I'd hurl. Just get on with it!



Hurry up, or I'll miss me bus!

Shit. I broke me nail!

SPLASHING

CHEERING

Look, just calm down, will you, Jackie?

Look, I can't get a word in edgeways here!

This isn't what I had in mind, that's all.

Oh, look, I feel stupid.

Not only do I feel stupid, I look stupid!

All the kids are just taking the piss.

It's all right for you, I'd like to see you walking around like this.

Oi! Come here, you, you little shit!

Get here, you little shit! I'll have you when I get hold of you!

What the bleedin' hell are you playing at, soft lad?



I could've killed you then!

Dad?

- What?
- It's me.
- Who?

- Robbie.
- My Robbie? What are you doing, lad?

- He's after me, please!
- Oi!
- What's the score with him, then?

- You little sod!
- Oh, hang about.
- I want a word with you!

Oi! Get here!

I'll have you, you little sod! You haven't seen the last of me!

Think he's topped himself!

HE LAUGHS

So what's the score with Mr Whippy, then?

- Me and me mates were messin'. Borrowed his van.
- Borrowed?

We were gonna give it back. Stalled it. The others legged it.

Shocking. Rule number one. If you're gonna be the getaway driver,

don't stall the car.

- Thought you lived in Ireland.
- Yeah, I do.

I'm just over here doin' a job for a mate, you know.

Been over here before?

Why do you sound like a Manc?

- Lived in Manchester with our Katie's dad.
- You've got a sister?

- Pain in the arse.
- How come you're here, then?

Mum and Terry split up.

How old are you now, mate?

14.

How come you never came to see us?

Yeah, I would've if I could, but, you know, it's complex,

you know what I mean, with Ireland and that.

- How long you here for now?
- Not long.

Look, I've just got to see a man about a horse.

You stay here, though, right?

I won't be long.

RACING COMMENTARY

Come on, come on, come on.

Get in! Thought he was gonna bottle it, then.

The patron saint of jockeys

must have been looking after you today, you jammy get.

Hee-hee! Cheers, Billiam.

- Happy days, lad!
- D'you always win?

Oh, aye, yeah. Apart from when I lose.

Mum reckons it's a mug's game.

Yeah? Then you won't want this off this mug.

Here you go.

Go on.

- You won it.
- It's yours. What's mine's yours.

- Will I see you again?
- Course.

You on the front tomorrow? Same time?

Yeah.

Maybe not a good idea to let on to your mum that you've seen me here.

I won't.

All right.

Cheer up!

Mine went further.

- Like that?
- And the chips go in. That's marvellous. Step two.

And then the, you know... Thanks very much.

The piece de resistance...

is the curry sauce, which I can't open. One sec.

Oh, it's all over the show now! Here you go, have a bit of that.

There we go.

Jamie Oliver, my arse, mate.

BABY CRIES

- Do you know her?
- No.

- Which way's Ireland?
- Perch Rock and take a left.

On a clear day, you can see Val Doonican.

Who?

You know, Val Doonican.

# Walk tall, walk tall and look the world right in the eye. #

You laughin' at me?

Ah, he's made a happy man very old.

- Are there any nice girls in Killarney?
- Oh, yeah.

Want me to put a word in for you?

Don't worry, I'll make sure that, y'know, she's got all the bits.

You with anyone?

No.

Maybe you could come back to live with us.

The chances of that are poor to piss poor, son.

Your mum'd never have me back.

She might change her mind. Women do - it's a well-known fact.

- Yeah? Not your mum.
- SHIP HORN BLARES

I'm always lookin' out for you on that.

- Sometimes I reckon I've seen you on it.
- Yeah?

- D'you remember a snow globe you got me?
- Snow globe?

It had a nativity in it. Cracked.

Yeah! Yeah, I do remember it now, yeah.

Mary's head fell off, we stuck it back on with Bostick.

- You can see the join.
- The thought that counts.

- You kept that all this time?
- The snow doesn't snow. Never did.

Snow's overrated anyway.

Kept this an' all.

I remember that day. Bits of it.

I was havin' a banana milkshake.

We were in that cafe at Hollyhead. Before we got the train home.

Why did you leave us?

Your mum never told you?

She doesn't talk about it.

Just says you let us down. Better off without you.

Yeah, maybe she's right.

I don't feel better off without you.

D'you ever think about me dad?

Not if I can help it. Why?

He might've changed.

Yeah. And there's a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow.

You don't know nothing, you.

You're full of shit. You ever wonder why you're on your own?

NOLAN!

Dive in, or get down.

JEERING

Come on, Nolan!

< Can't drive and he can't dive!

Mr Skinner? Are you Mr Skinner? Yeah, you don't know me.

I'm his dad.

LAUGHTER

NOLAN! Dive in or get down, lad!

- Hey! Did you do that?
- Yeah!
- What the bleedin' hell are you playin' at?

- You said you'd meet me!
- I know, but something came up and I'm sorry.

No need for that, though, was there?

Going to cost a few bob to get that fixed.

Oh, eh!

- Robbie, where you going?
- Mum said you were a loser.
- Cheers(!)

- Always was, always will be!
- At least I'm consistent.

ENGINE REVS

All right, I'm a loser. I'll make it up to you.

- Forget it.
- Come on, give us a chance.

I said forget it. Go back to Ireland, I'm not arsed.

All right, I'll piss off, but let me do one thing first.

HE HONKS HORN

It's Robbie.

Thought I couldn't drive!

- Hungry?
- Starving.

Viagra? What the bloody hell d'you want Viagra for?

You're 81 years of age, for Christ's sake!

You'll be pole vaulting all the way to that daycare centre,

if you're not careful. Sheila?

Home Help Sheila? Dad!

The only thing she's trying to get her hands on is your pension!

Is she there? If she's there, put her on. Put her on!

Listen, you. If you don't keep your filthy mitts off him,

I'm going to come round there

and shove that can of Mr Sheen so far up your arse,

it'll take you a fortnight to shit it out. Do you hear me?

- Salt and vinegar, love?
- Please.

Hey! Get out! What are you doing, you cheeky little twat?!

What did you see in me mum?

I didn't. I fancied her mate, Josie.

She had bigger tits.

She had a gob to match, though, so I sacked that idea.

What you reckon she saw in you?

I could dance.

There's three things women love.

One, a man who can dance. Two, a man who'll listen.

The trick with that is to pretend you're listening when you're not.

And, three, always agree with everything they've said,

even when they're wrong. Simple.

- I can't dance.
- Everyone can dance.
- I can't.

Get out. Go on, get out.

Go on, I'll teach you a few moves. Just go from side to side.

Oh, what?! One, two, three, four. One, two three.

MUSIC: "The Snake" by Al Wilson

That's good! You're getting there. Feeling it, yeah.

Then you've go to and get your fancy moves.

Do your high kicks. Come on, feel it.

In time to the music.

Something like that.

Get the basics right and everything else will follow.

Tell you what, mate... just stick to two and three.

How come you can dance and I can't?

Dunno. Take after me dad. Your grandad.

What was he like?

- Do you want to be buried or cremated?
- Surprise me.

- 'Bout you?
- Neither.

They reckon drowning's a good way to go, don't they?

Dunno, never tried it.

- D'you reckon he can hear us?
- Doubt it.

- He was deaf!
- HE LAUGHS

- Are you like him?
- He was the talk of the village, me dad.

Always tellin' stories. Used to sit us on his knee

- and tell us all about the old days in Killarney.
- How old were you?

29! Nah, dunno, four or five.

Used to take us there in the school holidays.

- Took us to the Blarney Stone.
- What's that?
- If you kiss it,

it's meant to give you the gift of the gab.

- So you'll have better luck chattin' up girls.
- Did it work?
- Yeah.

- Shagged this girl called Mary there.
- On the Blarney Stone?
- Yeah.

Me dad went mental. But I could tell he was thinking, "Nice one, son".

You're meant to look up to your dad.

I did. He was a hero.

Are you like him?

Come on. It's getting cold.

- Leanne!
- What do you want?
- Can I hold him?
- No!

- Please, just for a bit?
- Why are you suddenly arsed about him?

You don't even know his name.

Buy him some nappies.

That wouldn't even buy him one.

It's all I've got. Please?

- Will it mean you'll leave us alone?
- Yeah.

Like that, divvy! He's not a sack of spuds.

Hey, mate.

It's Elliott.

Hi, Elliott.

His first name's William after my granddad.

Billy Elliott?

CAR SPEEDS BY

TYRES SCREECH

Just stay away, Robbie, OK?

BABY CRIES

- Who's that kid?
- Just someone from school.

HORSE-RACING COMMENTARY ON TV

HE MUTTERS

Come on.

Fucking move!

- What are you doin' soft lad? Go after him.
- Why?

- You're going to let him get away with that?
- I'm all right.

You got to look after yourself, Rob. No-one else will.

Do you understand me? No-one.

What are you like with your fists?

Show me. No, no, no. Hit me. Come on. Hit me.

Properly, come on. Come on, hit me.

No, no, no. Properly, not like a girl.

Like a lad. Hit me. Hit me!

You little...!

Rob, I was trying to help. I'm sorry.

You all right, mate?

I'm sorry.

Come on. Forgive me, Rob.

Come on, mate. I'm sorry.

All right, eh?

- Has my dad been in?
- Who?
- Joe.

- No, lad. He's back home, over the water.
- He's back in Ireland already?

Ireland?! Liverpool.

- His home's in Ireland.
- I think you've got your wires crossed, lad.

He lives in Liverpool.

- How long's he lived there for?
- Years.

If you're his son, shouldn't you know that?

Yeah. It's just we've been apart for a bit.

- Has he been over here much?
- On and off, yeah.

- No message?
- No.

TRAIN PASSES

DOOR SLAMS

BABY CRIES

Fucking shut up.

Fucking shut up!

Fucking noisy little shit.

CRYING CONTINUES

Touch him again and I'll fucking kill you!

Are you fucking kidding me?

Are you fucking kidding me, son?

Fucking touch me...?

What the fuck are you doing? Fuck off.

Fuck off.

What are you fucking doing, you little shit?

- Fucking let go. Oi!
- Leave him alone.

GUNSHOT

Aah! You fuck!

SCREAMING

BABY CRIES

Fucking move!

Ssh!

I'm sorry. Please, ssh.

HE BREATHES HEAVILY

ENGINE SPLUTTERS

No, no. Shit.

Do you know how to work it?

KNOCK AT DOOR

Afternoon. DCI Hill, DC McKenzie.

We're responding to the disappearance of Elliott

- and Robbie, is it?
- Yeah. Come in.

I didn't even know he had a kid.

Your ex-wife wondered if he dropped any hints about where he was gone.

No. I don't know, mate.

You can't think where he might have gone, then, no?

Sorry.

THUNDER ROLLS

ELLIOTT CRIES

ELLIOTT SCREAMS LOUDER

Ssh!

Ssh.

Go on. Go on.

Go on!

ELLIOTT RESUMES CRYING

Elliot!

Shut up!

CRYING ECHOES

ELLIOTT GURGLES

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry.

Sorry.

ELLIOTT MOANS

Ssh!

PHONE RINGS

We're going, Elliot. Get the ferry to Ireland.

Everything's going to be cool. We'll be safe there.

Oh - urgh!

Fucking hell, what's she feed you?

Come on.

Come on, stinky.

Ssh.

ELLIOTT GURGLES

CREAKING

Shit. I fell asleep.

I haven't done nothing, honest. Just needed somewhere to kip.

Is this your farm?

What's your name?

You Welsh?

Charlotte Church, yeah?

You understand me? Why don't you say something?

Nia!

What're you doing in there? Come on.

RESPIRATOR HISSES

DOOR OPENS

Thanks.

Is it Nia?

This is Elliot.

Me son.

I'm looking after him for his mum for a bit.

She's not well.

You won't let on I'm here, will you?

ELLIOT COUGHS, SPLUTTERS

Rragh!

That warm?

Good boy. Ah!

Good boy, Elliot.

ELLIOT CRIES

ROBBIE SIGHS

NIA HUMS SOFTLY

'Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of the 14-year-old

'should contact Merseyside Police immediately.

'A housewife in Cheshire has been...'

I heard you.

Singing.

Why did you pretend you couldn't talk?

Please. Say something in Welsh.

Go on. Teach me some swear words.

Cachgi.

What's that?

Shit dog or...coward.

Another.

Coc oen.

Coc oen.

Lamb's cock.

What was it like?

With you and Elliot's mum?

What was what like?

You know.

The sex.

Just sex.

Put you off?

No.

Did you love her?

To be honest, not even sure I liked her.

Don't you want to do it with someone you like?

If I meet someone, yeah.

ELLIOT CRIES SOFTLY

I'll just check to see if I've heard from Nathan.

Boyfriend?

He'd like to be. He's older.

Only chance I get to talk to lads.

My dad won't let me.

Treats me like a kid.

Can't go anywhere on my own, except the farm.

Maybe he just wants to look after you?

How would you like it?

He wants to meet me.

Be careful, Nia. He could be some paedo.

- He's not.
- How do you know? Could be some old perv.

You don't want to be doing it with some old fella.

What's up?

I'm going to stay here until you tell me.

Uncle Barry.

My dad's brother.

Smelt of...

the pub and fish paste sandwiches.

He said...

He said if I ever told anyone, that my dad would die as well, so be good.

It was cos I hadn't been good that my mum died.

On my 12th birthday,

my dad caught him.

I've never seen him again and my dad won't have his name mentioned.

I got pregnant.

I didn't want it.

You need to talk to someone.

I am.

CAR ON CATTLE GRID

Shit. Your dad! I'll see you later.

ELLIOT WHIMPERS

COWS LOW

ELLIOT CRIES

Sounds like a baby.

Ssh!

Shit! Ssh!

Must have been a cat.

The cat that got your tongue.

ELLIOT CRIES

Ssh. Come on.

Ssh.

HE LAUGHS

Young lad. The baby's only six months old.

Thought I heard a baby in the night. But it was a cat.

Keep an eye out for him. He shot someone.

I bet you haven't done behind your ears.

I got this from Dad's tin.

It's OK. I'll watch Elliot.

Thanks.

(SOFTLY) # Hush little baby, don't say a word

# Mama's gonna buy you a mocking bird

# And if that mocking bird don't sing

# Mama's gonna buy you a diamond ring... #

Tiny, tiny fingers.

Tiny.

Tiny, tiny.

Where is he?

Safe.

Where?

Ssh. He's fine.

Playing at?

You do something for me, I do something for you.

Like what?

What are you doing?

I don't want that to be the only time.

With him.

Nia...

- Just tell me where Elliot is.
- Not yet.

Do this, Robbie, and you'll have him back

and I won't tell anyone where you are.

You knew all along?

Police came round the house.

- I'm the only one who can help you.
- Then tell me where Elliot is.

Please.

Do this for me.

ROBBIE PANTS

Keep trying.

I can't.

Please, Robbie. Please keep trying.

I can't.

Just tell me where Elliot is, please. I just want Elliot.

Please...

- I left him here.
- Nia, don't piss about!

I'm not. He was here. He was in the bread basket.

Fucking hell, why did you do that? He's not a loaf.

He needs feeding. He'll be hungry.

He'd be crying, why ain't he crying? Why ain't he?

I'll try over there. You go that way, and be careful, you can sink.

Elliot!

Elliot!

- Elliot!
- Elliot!

Elliot!

Elliot!

Elliot!

Elliot!

Ell!

Elliot!

ELLIOT CRIES

Elliot!

You're all right, Daddy's here now.

Sorry, Ell.

Ssh. You're all right!

It's not you.

It's just... I don't think you're ready yet.

It wouldn't be right.

Can't we still be mates?

Will you do something for me?

What?

Just promise me first.

- I don't know what it is, though.
- You trust me?

Then promise.

Promise.

Talk to your dad.

Can't I just go with you instead?

Could lie and say yeah, come to Ireland.

But I'd dump you in Holyhead.

Not cos I don't like you.

It's just...

This is my shit. Not yours.

Dad...

SINGLE LONG TONE

SHE SOBS

'Police believe the teenage boy

'who abducted his six-month-old son three days ago

'could be somewhere in the North Wales area

'after a stolen car was found near Prestatyn this morning.'

'14-year-old Robert Mullan from New Brighton disappeared with baby Elliot

'after shooting 19-year-old Steven James with a serious wound.

'Police are warning the public not to approach Mullan, as he may be armed.

'In other news today, the Prime Minister...'

Not long now, mate.

We'll be there soon.

Come on, mate. Ssh.

THEY TALK INAUDIBLY

Robbie, catch him. Catch him!

Come on, Robbie, catch him!

Whoa!

Banana milkshake, please.

Sorry, machine's broke. Got fizzy drinks.

No, ta.

It's just me and you now, Ell. Time to get the ferry.

Good boy.

Shit.

ELLIOT CRIES

- Hey, come on, what's up?
- ELLIOT COUGHS

We'll get a boat from somewhere. We'll get our own boat, eh?

Ssh. Come on.

- You're in all the papers, you know.
- Fuck off. You said you'd meet me.

I know, but how was I to know you'd steal a baby and go on the run?

He's not "a baby." He's my son.

Even so, you still abducted him.

You're still wanted by the bizzies.

How did you know I'd be here?

Here you are.

Photo.

Rob!

POLICE SIREN

Robbie!

Rob! What are you going to do, mate?

What you never did - go to Ireland, me and Elliot.

- Give him what I never had.
- What's the odds of you letting me come too?

- Bet you've never even been to Killarney.
- Yes, I have!

Once. That bit was true.

When I was about five.

Yeah, I never wanted to come home.

The only time I ever saw me mum and dad happy together.

And then...we came home. Back to normal.

What was?

Me dad coming home bladdered every night and battering me mum.

I asked you if you were like him.

You never answered. You are.

He drank. You gambled. Same thing. You both hurt people.

- Rob...
- And who was that woman in t'graveyard?

- Me mum. Your nan.
- I thought she was dead. Why'd you lie?

- Look, Rob, we're getting soaked here, mate.
- Why?

- Come on, mate, it's cold, we'll get soaked.
- Why?

- The baby'll get a cold!
- Why?!
- Why?! Why, why, why! Fucking hell!

Cos I feel shit, OK? Happy now?

I feel shit about me, about this fucking habit.

I left me mum when I was 16.

I left her to me old fella, that was a shithead

who beat the shit out of her and I did nothing! OK?

I didn't go back until...

..we were in town and you were a little baby.

Our Bernie said me dad's in the hozzy, got cancer

and wants you to see him, say goodbye and all that.

So I goes to the ward

and there he is with all the tubes

and me mum sitting there holding his hand and that.

Fucking hell!

She done herself up, you know what I mean? All lovely for him.

Then what?

Nothing. I did nothing.

Like I've always done nothing.

- POLICE SIREN
- I just walked.

Robbie! What are you doing, mate?

What are you doing, Rob, with the baby? Robbie!

He's my son. They're not having him. I'm his dad.

Don't be silly. What'll you do? Jump? You can't jump!

Armed police! Step away from the edge!

Why? Thinking about yourself again? Everyone's going to blame you, eh?

If anyone's to jump, it should be me.

Go on, then. Do it.

ELLIOT CRIES

You won't jump!

Fucking hell, I'm a failure at that, even! Fucking hell!

Move away from the edge!

Will you let me...

Give me another chance, and I'll prove I can be all right,

I can be your dad.

Rob, give us a chance and tell me I'm not bad, please.

Please. Please, mate.

See you, Elliot.

Go back to your mum now.

She'll look after you.

Get up.

Get up!

Give him back to her.

His nappy needs changing.

Do summat.

See you, Elliot.

BUBBLING

'They reckon that when you're drowning,

'you see your life flash before you. But I didn't.

'I saw someone else's life -

'it was my son's. Elliot.'

MUSIC: "Everything You Need" by Adem

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