After a group of teenagers discover one of their friends lying dead on a river bank on one of the hottest days of summer, a story of jealousy, insecurity and peer pressure gradually unfolds. Group leader Caesar is able to magnify - out of all proportion - the small grievances that each of Jessie's friends bear towards her and transforms them into a general and pervasive hatred that leads ultimately to her horrible, senseless killing. Written by
This movie was partly shot on my high-school, and, having been an extra in it, I was of course looking forward to seeing it. Knowing what the story was about, and prepared for what would probably be a vehement cinema visit, I went to see it with some friends.
If I would have to choose one word to describe this film, it would be Wow. I believe this film is able to take away all the skepticism we see in opinions on Dutch movies. This movie is raw, it is honest, and, like my summary above says, above-board. The killing scene is very shocking, it actually affected me physically; my heart was pounding, I almost couldn't believe what I saw. I've only had that with a couple of movies in my life (including "Black Swan" and I believe "Titanic" as well). Man, this is so good...the acting is wonderful on nearly every point of the movie. Having in mind that we're speaking of actors aged 17-21, I feel a lot of admiration for what they've achieved with this film (especially when I realise I wasn't quite a fan of two of them beforehand). Gaite Jansen again proves herself a big acting talent, and I think we can be very proud of having such a beautiful and gifted girl among our Dutch movie stars.
One might think: if you loved it so much, why not rate it 10? Well, I rarely ever rate 10, and I didn't do it here, because of a few reasons: at a few points, the dialogues were beside the mark. The director and actors specifically said they wanted to show how such "normal" teenagers like those in the movie can perform such a cruel deed, but for me, the dialogues felt uncomfortable at some points...it seemed to be too jerky, though I won't deny that might also be part of the mechanism this movie wants to show its viewers...the scapegoat mechanism, the story of a group of friends which such derails that a horrific crime is performed.
Don't watch this movie if you can't stand shocking images. Like I wrote, this movie is above-board; the killing of Jessie and the liquidating of her body is an 8-minute scene in the movie. Also, the showing of Jessie's inanimate and corrupting body makes one swallow twice. Do watch it if you like good movies, and if you are prepared and willing to let go of your possible sceptical view on Dutch movies. This one's different than quite a lot of the other ones made before.
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