“ Despite a stellar cast the film never really moves beyond the usual character traits of the British upper classes - alcohol, sex, racism and stiff upper lips and if both dull and predictable.
“ He frames a believable portrait of a sleepy, dull, dying outpost, without romanticizing or condemning it, resisting the endless shots of wild savannah soundtracked by tribal drum featuring 'world music' that generally plague anything set in Africa.
“ There are good performances and especially the stepmother is very entertaining to watch, as are some of the upper-class women.
“ Really, this feels like an episode of Wild Of Heart rather than a high end film with some big names, and so it only really works as mindless wallpaper to pass a dull afternoon.
“As it is, a completely absorbing movie, being what it is, and for those who appreciate this kind of sometimes funny, sometimes moving melodrama.
“ Nicholas Hoult is one of my favourite young actors, and puts in a solid performance, looking convincing in the unusual and enjoyable movie setting of Africa post-empire – the first film ever shot in Swaziland, reportedly.
“ Instead Grant depicts the colonial bungalow culture of boredom, adultery, snobbery and alcohol.
“ Grant makes his writing and directing debut with this highly entertaining film about the last days of British colonial protectorate of Swaziland, East-South Africa, drawing from his memoirs as a child growing up in Swaziland the time when the Kingdom of Swaziland was given its independence from British rule.
“ It is a stunning portrayal of an only child brought up by feuding parents.
“"Wah-Wah" has the right blend of comic situations, gritty family conflict, stunning African scenery and caricatures of latter-day British imperial pretensions to entertain, engage and amaze.
“ If conventional as a drama, it's finely made, and really quite enjoyable .
“The colonial bickering and the preparations for the royal visit were far more entertaining.
“ The setting and depiction of the African scenes are breathtaking, albeit the focus is on the Brits in the process of returning this country to the Swazi.
“ I found it very slow and I didn't sympathize with the characters.
“And the delightfulness comes from everything about the film - a sentimental and touching story set amongst beautiful scenery, with a lovely score and stunning performances from all the cast.
“ However, the main weakness of the movie is that it is at some point rather confusing, and can be boring to watch due to the very nature of the film.
“ If I get bored very early in a movie, that's a bad sign.
“ What a dreary experience!
“ An interesting Coming of Age film taking place in Swaziland in the late 1960s and early 70s, round about the time of the country gaining independence from England.
“ Ralph, being the main character, is particularly empty, despite Nicholas Hoult's best efforts.
“ Instead, what we got was a brilliant, superbly paced, wonderfully entertaining feature film that held the audience to the last scene.
“ I had high hopes but instead got an unoriginal story, told through a bland kid, with phoned-in performances from all the major cast (Miranda Richardson aside, although she didn't have to push herself), with dialogue that was stilted and cringe-inducing.
“ It also looks stunning: it is hard to believe this is Richard Grant's first film.
“ "Wah-Wah" is worth watching because it paints an intriguing portrait of the British Empire's final days in Swaziland and the acting is very good throughout.
“ The moral double standards of Colonial Britain at it worst, coupled with what must be emotional scars etched into Richard's soul, produce a film of compelling proportions.
“ There are drunk fathers, charming seductress, unhappy children and pretentious upper class figures.
“ This film is a highly entertaining view of a dysfunctional family from the viewpoint of the teenaged son.
“This movie alternately had me laughing, cringing, or on the edge of tears.
“ There was far too much use of cloying music as a counterpoint to the tiresome proceedings (Dad slams door, boy flinches and strings swell, etc).
“ WAH-WAH is a coming of age story about a teenage Briton in Swaziland just before independence.
“ Richard E Grant's film about his formative years being brought up in Swaziland is fascinating for both what it shows and what it conceals.
“ Absolute powerhouse performances from Gabriel Byrne (as an alcoholic divorcée) and Emily Watson (as an out of place American) join a watershed performance form the young Nicholas Hoult (from About a Boy), whose transformation from young boy to young man was one of the most compelling and convincing I have ever seen.