Sensitive 12-year-old Alf (Nikolaj Støvring Hansen) is the low man on his class' totem pole, and he's sick of it. Forming a secret, Machiavellian alliance with another student who also has grown weary of being bullied, he hatches a plan to throw a wrench into the well-oiled gears of the school social order. Everything seems to go according to plan, until Alf discovers that turning the tables on his tormentors has its own dire consequences. Written by
The manga comic "Niccolo" which the boys in the movie are inspired by, is a comic book adaptation of the political treatise 'The Prince', written in 1513 by Italian political philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli. The comic was created specifically for this movie, with a complete storyline about the shepherd Niccolo, who gets his family murdered by the soldiers of an evil empire, leading Niccolo to revenge, fighting back the tyranny and trying to become the new king. The full story was written by director Oliver Ussing and screenwriter 'Søren Grinderslev Hansen', with the Spanish artist 'Ignacio Ferraras' illustrating the manga. See more »
I was interested in this from the moment I heard of its existence. That is in spite of me seldom finding our country's cinematic efforts to be all that impressive. The subject of bullying is very important to me. It is seldom treated well on the screen. This is one of the best I've seen. The biggest problem is how extreme it can be, especially in the last third, where it goes completely out of it. Some of the things(I read that the director loves Lord of the Flies, and it shows) in this simply do not happen in first-world countries, to school-children(nor are they done by such). It hurts the overall product. Related to that is the fact that other than the lead, no one in this is a three-dimensional character... and even he is arguably not *that* fleshed out. Everyone is entirely evil or good, at the particular time we're seeing them... yes, they don't all remain so throughout, but they are one or the other in this. That's not psychologically accurate. While I have no love for anyone who attacks classmates and the like, physically or otherwise, I know that they aren't as monstrous as this suggests. And the completely innocent are not seen outside of the imagination or expressions of it, either. Other than the aforementioned aspects, this is great. It is immensely credible and realistic. The "plans" are smart and "work". There is no magic solution, and this is only sentimental once or twice. The bits of tension is rather effective, it genuinely did have me nailed to my seat. I found portions chilling(particularly the way they implemented the manga comic book, that they, by the way, made up purely for the film), and this definitely is a drama, not a comedy. It is funny here and there, and there are merciful, uplifting sequences among all the pain. One of the jokes is one of those stupid new ones where you're supposed to ignore that it makes no sense. The editing and cinematography are *excellent*, expert stuff(with an occasional exception where the framing could have been better). I don't know why they cast Bodnia(star power, I guess?), because they didn't give him anything to do. That is the only negative I can say in that department; every single acting performance was spot-on, with merely occasional hiccups. These kids are astonishingly talented. The names for several of these people were tough to swallow. One would think someone called "Anemone" would be *the* target. This lacks a clear group of popular students. The music is fitting. Dialog isn't bad, though it does not necessarily provide anything quotable. For anyone who hasn't watched a Danish movie before; we have plenty of black humor, and it appears in this, as well. There is a lot of disturbing content(it also gets quite disgusting), a little brutal(at times bloody) violence and brief underage drinking in this. I recommend this to anyone who cares about the theme. Entertaining, engaging and largely mature. 7/10
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