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Reviews & Ratings for
Nico and Dani More at IMDbPro »Krámpack (original title)

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33 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

Nico and Dani; Friendship Endures A Test

9/10
Author: Bob Drake (bobdrake@mac.com) from Bronx, NY
26 February 2001

Krámpack supposedly means mutual masturbation, so it goes without saying that the U.S. theatrical release would be retitled with the names of the two best friends who shamelessly do so. That said, the film is SO far removed from the typical American teen fare, like American Pie, that the unusual degree of friendship between the two boys is but a small part of the overall European-ness of the film.

The boys have known each other since grade school but are now just past puberty, and their minds are filled with sex, Nico obsessing about his Adam's Apple and his need to lose his virginity, and Dani entranced by his best friend. Dani is just plain sexy, and he knows it. At first it seems like a collision course, but as might be true for the adolescents they are, they start and end as friends. Both learn that they can be the objects of sexual desire -- and the comfort that this brings to a teenager -- but that their sexual paths are diverging.

The movie is well written and achingly sincere, more so than Trick or Get Real, both of which had a Fairy Tale (pardon the pun) quality about them. This film lies closer to the French films Wild Reeds and Full Speed than these. In Nico and Dani the passion seems real, and there is sour with the sweet.

The Spanish seacoast location is gorgeous, as are the characters, who are hardly stereotypes for the most part. The two guys are believable as 16-year-olds (even though about 20). For this reason my rating is a 9, well above the 7+ average rating that is current.

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22 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Uplifting yet sap-free...

8/10
Author: David (davidals@msn.com) from Chapel Hill, NC, USA
11 October 2003

I completely missed the boat on this one - KRAMPACK (a.k.a. NICO & DANI) is an excellent film. To temporarily ditch any pretense of objectivity, this was very nostalgic - my adolescence was a good bit more modest, but the experiences and conversations (even the summertime setting) at many points through this film hit close to home. I won't rehash the plot, which is well-covered by previous reviewers here, but I will say that the film really gets the mix of unease and anticipation right in depicting the evolving relationship between Nico & Dani. On this front, it's a five-star gay-themed drama.

The performances are quite expressive and naturalistic - no movie-of-the-week feelgood speeches appear here, and none are needed. The slightest changes in expression (contrast Nico's responses to Dani through the first 2/3 of the film, to his responses during the last 20 minutes or so) convey great warmth and understanding, giving him the ability to reaffirm his friendship with Dani (in a 'positive' statement greater than any speech) even as they both understand by film's end that the dynamic of their friendship won't ever be quite the same.

On this note the film does have something to offer anyone - it's universal without getting saccharine, and deeply committed to the humanity of its' characters. There aren't any complex philosophical or political undercurrents here, but none are needed - the respect and graceful treatment afforded to two ultimately different characters are more than adequate. A fine flick.

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19 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Summer of discovery

8/10
Author: jotix100 from New York
15 November 2005

Teen age sexual awakening is at the center of "Krampack". This tremendously frank account of a summer in the lives of two friends who are spending their summer vacation in the home of one of them in Spain. The film proves to be a winner because it presents a situation from the point of view of the young men, instead of from judgmental adults.

Gay Cesc, the Catalan film director, made a good movie about how sex plays a key part in the lives of the two young school mates. The film is made even better by the no-nonsense approach Mr. Cesc gives the film.

Fernando Ramallo is Dani and Jordi Vilches is Nico. While Nico wants it to be the summer where he loses his virginity, Dani has problems of his own as he discovers that he is attracted to men and has to struggle with his new discovery. Both these young actors are totally believable, giving excellent performances, wisely shaped by Mr. Cesc's direction.

This is a refreshing look at a thorny issue, which the director handles with total frankness.

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20 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

8/10

8/10
Author: desperateliving from Canada
4 April 2005

The film is just a story, but it's very, very good storytelling, and I'd be hard-pressed to explain why it's so good. It has to do partly with the fact that at first we think we know right where it's going, and that the worth will be in how it gets there -- we're amused by Nico's interest in girls, he's obviously gay (right?). What makes the Dani and Nico characters so believable is in the handling of the material, and the very smart decision to not really define anything. It's very realistic about the first sex between boys, and how it so often has to do with sex games (here, masturbation tips).

Before we have a clearer handle on the (differing) sexuality of the two characters, their sex seems to play like this: they see girls, they get aroused, and they take out their sexual frustration on each other. And that works because of the two characters' subtle manner -- Dani's creepy preening, Nico's goofy charm, and how at first it's Nico who seems to be the most "gay" of the two boys, simply because he has precise features and is abnormally skinny. (Like "Edge of Seventeen" or "Beautiful Thing," two of the best gay self-discovery films, the boys here look real.) The emotions, and the past histories of the characters -- like the man whose house Dani goes to, or the woman who, too, had a special girl friend when she was young -- are kept appropriately inexact.

Aside from the talent at passing along this story, there is also a nice feel the film has -- something like a cross between the accessibility of a Western and the human interest of Ingmar Bergman... It's like a funky road trip, with that harmonica music and the very apt photography, as well as the suggestive intertitles of dialogue that will occur later in the film. A comparison between this and "Y tu Mama Tambien," of the following year, would not be in vain. 8/10

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18 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Very beautiful film

Author: M_Guerin from Toronto, ON
18 October 2000

I loved this movie - saw it at the Toronto Film Festival - very sweet story about two teenage boys who frequently engage in "Krampack" which is apparently Spanish slang for masturbation. Everything is tastefully done, and the direction, acting and script are first-rate - I really appreciated this film's frankness in depicting its subject matter and not shying away from teenage sex, or use of drugs, drinking, etc. This is how teenagers behave - not some sanitized and artificial version as typically portrayed in most mainstream American c**p. God forbid, some teenage boys actually engage in homosexual experimentation. The main character Dani, very cute by the way, develops a much deeper affection for his friend, Nico, on a summer visit when the parents are away - every night they engage in masturbating each other, growing in intimacy every night. But Nico's affections are directed toward a girl living nearby, and Dani becomes understandably jealous and much conflict and tension ensue. I can't say enough about the quality of the young performances and the writing. Hats off to Cesc Gay, the director, for sticking to his guns and producing this wonderful film about the real sexual tensions that can frequently occur between teenage boys (and girls) when they're being honest with each other. Loved it!

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13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

A Very Gentle Movie

9/10
Author: (to.bob@att.net) from Oklahoma, USA
19 April 2003

I selected this as Blockbuster was closing -- just a title in the Foreign Films section. I had no idea what the movie was about so it was a constant surprise from beginning to end. What a good movie! If you have read the other reviews, you know what the story is about. The best part, to me, was their last day together. They both realized that they were on different tracks in life, but they also realized that they were good friends and that they would remain good friends. When Nico told Dani "have your dad sell me this motorcycle," you knew that Nico wanted to continue the friendship -- there was never any question that Dani wanted to continue. So, for me, that was the best part. Sex comes and goes, but friendship can last a lifetime. This was a very gentle movie with a good ending. -- from Bob in Oklahoma

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11 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Coming of age story that is totally natural

9/10
Author: terryhall2 from United Kingdom
15 January 2007

This delightful film, which the Spanish seem to excel at making, just looks at a section of life of two teenage boys sharing a summer together. Good friends, they are at an age where their hormones dictate what they are doing and Nico, who thinks he's much more macho and attractive than he is, wants to lose his virginity before he reaches 17. Very cute Dani likes his friend's company and like many teenage boys discovering their sexuality, these two masturbate each other when female company is lacking. However, two girls Elena and Berta turn up at the beautiful little coastal town and Nico's interest is piqued. Dani, who feels a deep attraction for his friend wants to spend more time with Nico and resents the interference of the girls presence. It's a summer of learning and acceptance for him that he is gay. The acting is superb, so natural and human. Many European films capture this humanity that American films find it difficult to do, because the latter are generally ruled by making money, not for the art form. In Nico and Dani no judgments are ever made, no sensitivities hidden or prejudices espoused, just the sincere and objective exploration of the human condition shown as natural as it occurs in life. People are people, not ridiculous super-heroes in contrived situations. There is also a maturity in European films, with excellent acting that draws you to believe these things are really happening, and the audience is expected to be a mature one too. It's a fresh, happy little film, well photographed and the subject matter intelligently handled. I recommend it.

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12 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Excellent Film on Friendship, Growing Up

Author: Nick Dets from US
16 February 2003

"Nico and Dani" is as true as a film on adolescence and sexual awakening can get. A key is that the title characters are not sleazy party animals, taking advantage of women and not thinking twice about it (seen more times than one in American teen comedies that are driven by zero morals)...they are not jock-ey savage pigs, but sensitive and confused. Without guidance, reasoning is tough for them...especially because they are searching for who they really are, and this entails coming to terms with their sexuality. The film takes place over a long, blurry muddle of a summer with many wonderful (as well as dark) moments of self-discovery. Dani is left alone for his vacation minusing a sexually frustrated cook/caretaker. He invites a longtime friend named Nico, who is sprightly and refreshing...but also very much in a perplexing state of identity awareness. He tries on homosexuality with Dani, but leans toward the other side when he meets the a great summer girl who he becomes fascinated with. This provokes Dani's envy and sadness and their friendship is tested when he realizes he is gay. Like even the best of summers, ones sexual awakening has its share of fond and bad memories. It is a time to cherish and learn from, although there is pain as well as hapiness...rain as well as sunshine. And the girls of summer always become that distant memory of something special, but left behind for good reasons as well as bad.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

The Spanish movie of 2000

10/10
Author: Andres Rais from Buenos Aires, Argentina
5 April 2002

Every time I see this movie I discover something. There is a great script, great performances and great directing plays. This movie is about the summer of two teenagers that change his life for ever. Two boys, two girls, one writer and his friends are the characters of the film. There are certain hints that will show how the movie is developing until the end. The ending is great, the movie has parts of good inteligence. Take a minute and think of every aspect, every detail. Some people may think this is a gay movie. I don't think so. If you look all through the movie you will say... may be, may be not. I haven't mentioned that this movie is based on a play by Jordi Sanchez, it is divided into acts and this is very original in my opinion. Well, Fernando Ramallo and Jordi Vilches are the boys. Their performances are great. The girls characters are very well two. Chisco Amado is the writer and is a key character due to the fact that something will happen with him and Dani (Ramallo), and that is seen due to a phrase. There are unforgetable phrases. When Nico says: I must have sex before 17. Superb. Incredible. Enjoy.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

One of the best gay movies I have seen in a long time

10/10
Author: rse from Spain
6 July 2000

I am not a professional reviewer, but this film really impressed me because of the acting, directing and the script. It is so natural, the script is so true-to-life and the situation is so delicately handled, that it was a real delight from start to finish. It is a treatment of sexual coming-of-age that should touch a cord with a lot of us.. I know it did with me! I heartily recommend this film to anyone who likes sensitive human situations.

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