After being denounced as an outcast in school and frightened away from home by his mother's developing schizophrenia, there is no other way out for Johannes but to start improving his life by reforming himself.
This movie is about the Estonian War of Independence (1918-1920), specifically the students fighting on the nationalist side, but also shown the conflict between two ideologies (Estonian nationalism and communism).
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Johannes, son of a schizophrenic mother who frequently avoids her meds, transfers to an elite high school to help his career as a poet (and remains the only family member willing to live with his mom). His school reputation soon becomes wrongfully tarnished by a former classmate. Now aggressively blackballed, he also falls victim to plagiarism by a visiting graduate music producer. Furthering his troubles, ne'er-do-well pals from the streets get him trouble with the law and lend no support as Johannes runs afoul of a hot-tempered street hustler. When you hit bottom, it's time to climb and determine who your true friends are.Written by
Versatile depiction of ups and downs of modern school-leavers
Being aware that I am not a member of target audience here, I am also aware that Estonian films have become more interesting; we have always had good performers, but most scripts were "domestic" and/or subject to ideology.
The current century has brought a new breath of air into Estonian cinema and I am glad to announce that Nullpunkt is a good example of a mix of convincing plot, realistic characters and distinct performers (casting). 25-years-old Märt Pius is persuasive and realistic as 18- years-old Johannes and the background and situations he meets with are part of modern society in Estonia as well - social exclusion, stratification, drug use, cliquishness and many other largely negative phenomena the youth has to come across and deal with in a way or another. Even if you win, there are consequences, so the victories are often Pyrrhic...
As for other performances, they are all at least good, although I saw more joint dynamism in "older" characters, all performed by acclaimed Estonian actors, in spite of the role scale. Some Johannes' classmates seemed a bit sketchy, their inclusion was not always grounded, although it provided some wide scope and view.
So, a good youth film, apparently easily to identify with - for the younger generation. For me, the last words of Johannes were a bit odd and out of context, but then - see my first words of my review... :)
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