It's almost summer in Sweden and minor indiscretions and misbehavior abound. Leffe likes to show off for his friends and play salacious pranks, especially when he's drinking. Meanwhile, a ... See full summary »
While on a trip to Thailand, a successful American businessman tries to radically change his life. Back in New York, his wife and daughter find their relationship with their live-in Filipino maid changing around them. At the same time, in the Philippines, the maid's family struggles to deal with her absence.
Gael García Bernal,
Rille, an ostracized and bullied teenager, who only excels in the ping pong room, descends into a life-and-death struggle with his younger, more popular brother when the truth about their father surfaces during their spring break.
Five youngsters have grown to be men in Falkenberg. This is the story of their last summer together in the little west coast town. They are all different, with different views upon life and the future. Life is over, yet just to start. The adulthood is about to start, but are they ready? Not all of them, and not all will reach there either. A meditation about life, poetic, balanced, which will remind most of their own childhood and coming of age, and the melancholy of life changes, when you know there's no turning back. A last farewell to a hometown, the little town by the sea. Written by
Small towns in Sweden are safe and clean, not necessarily rural, but perhaps not as stimulating as the Big City. Here we follow some kids in a small town, Falkenberg and their angst about adulthood and the world. What I like about "Farväl..." is its directness. It isn't trying to be smart or deliver puns, but just shows what life was like in Falkenberg, for the people that have made the film. They are also playing more or less themselves, I understand.
The kids portrayed are without any real sense of purpose in their lives, but at the same time quite comfortable, and with deep friendships. Adults are depicted pretty much as half-dead bores, and in juvenile narcissistic manner, adulthood indeed seems akin to dying.
I think that the "twist" that provides the only real drama of the film is a bit adolescent, but perhaps its just a traditional "hero mythology", with the hero sacrificing himself so that others may live. An effort could have been made to drive home a few more points though, now you kind of wonder if the film-makers have bothered to take a step back to seriously consider what they want to say. Politics are kind of absent, except in a very small comment on the separation of girls and boys into different groups.
Swedish small town blues have been the subject of films before, in e.g. "Fucking Åmål" and "Masjävlar", but never in quite this naked way, I think. "Gitarrmongot" I guess comes closest in terms of the tone of the movie. Not exactly entertaining in the traditional sense, but gripping, and I am glad that the film was made.
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