Taavi, who never goes anywhere without his video camera, and his young and wealthy friends find themselves on the cusp of adulthood. After throwing a wild party at the mansion left to him ...
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Taavi, who never goes anywhere without his video camera, and his young and wealthy friends find themselves on the cusp of adulthood. After throwing a wild party at the mansion left to him by his deceased parents, Taavi shoots video of the partygoers in their various states of undress and drunken sexual congress. What begins as a prank spurs Taavi and his friends Jere, Sami, and Markus to form a club, the only requirement for admission being that each young man must bring a tape of his latest sexual conquest to every club meeting. The risque game quickly degenerates into dangerous compulsion as relationships implode and the boys forsake their girlfriends in favor of prostitutes and "swingers". As currents of coercion and abuse enter the picture, each young man must ultimately confront his own morality in the viewfinder. Written by
Superficially just another Scandinavian twist on the teen coming-of-age sex movie, I think there is genuinely a deeper level of interpretation. This odd film reminded me inevitably a little of Sex, Lies and Videotape - but the subtext is a much more general social commentary on the issues of privacy and personal freedom. The larger cast expand the personal issues to the social context without losing intensity in individual performances.
As a North American, I feel slightly disconnected from the European society -- we do not (yet) have surveillance cameras on every street corner. Nevertheless many places from banks to 24-hour grocery stores already use video surveillance, most cell-phones now come with an integrated camera, the web-cam is a common household appliance, and sex has become a spectator sport perhaps more than at any time in previous history. It is easy to say that my freedom ends where your privacy and right to security begin -- but it is not always so easy to find that point in our complex, crowded, fearful 21st century society.
Be warned: The sex scenes are numerous, explicit, and grittily realistic -- a far cry from the blurred-lens romance of the soft porn of most North American or British adult movies, or the extreme absurdity of so-called hard porn. I found this verismo refreshing in an odd way, although many may find it disturbing, especially in a film about late teens or twenty-somethings.
My one regret is that one of the subtext messages seemed to be one common to many movies: Young people can have sex, but they will be punished for it. Whatever the truth of this philosophy, it is an older person's perspective, which to me jarred with the viewpoint of the film, told almost entirely from the teenagers POV.
Although no totally new ground is broken here, I think this film is worth at least a good first look and perhaps a second viewing.
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