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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
Seeing this psychological thriller/drama thriller from the Netherlands made me reflect over my own high school years. There are some scenes that I've recognize and people that I have known or even passed in hallways during my time in high school, had that kind of behaviour displayed in this film.
It is about a group of teenagers that seem like the best of friends on the outside but in reality there is a conflict simmering underneath the surface.
The group consists of alpha male and leader Caesar(Matthijs van de Sande Bakhuyzen) who is taking care of his ailing mother. A tough job for anyone, especially for young teenager. But Caesar has issues, issues he can't talk to anyone about, not even his girlfriend Ilse.
Mick(Robert de Hoog)is Caesars best friend, doing normal male bonding like teaching Caesar how to drive, partying etc. But Mick seems to have a secrets of his own, something he can't talk about to Caesar.
Rico(Gerson Oratmangoen) is the clown and also the womanizer of the group. Even though he has girlfriend Frauk, he hasn't stopped chasing after other women. And with so many girls showing an interest could Frauk trust him?
Frauk(Melody Klaver) is constant jealous and weary over Ricos behaviour. Could one of her best friend be having an affair with Rico?
Jessie(Gaite Jansen) is confident and beautiful, has an uncanny ability to spot peoples flaws. But does she have flaws of herself? She also the one who creates a lot of tension within group. Slowly but surely this will have tragic consequences...
Ilse(Roos Netjes) is Jessies best friend and doesn't know how to deal with Jessies conniving personality, intrigues and lies. But what if Jessie is telling truth?
The acting from this group is superb, as a viewer I felt more like I was watching a documentary about highschool then an dramathriller.
But that makes me a little bit sad too, because some of the stuff said and done in this film has happen in front my eyes. Maybe not with such a tragic ending but I've seen them and I think most people have, no matter where you live.
Granted, I don't speak dutch, nor have ever been in the Netherlands but the script, dialogue feels more realistic then every episode of any US produced teen TV-drama.
So future viewers that liked Mean Creek (2004), Dare mo shiranai/Nobody Knows (2004), Rebel Without a Cause (1955) should definitely watch this underrated and sadly neglected film. It deserves more votes/viewers then it has received here on IMDb.
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