Nassim, a 16-year-old boy who is placed with a family in the suburbs following the death of his drug addict mother. But he refuses to integrate into the social setting that surrounds him. ...
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Stéphane De Groodt
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Nassim, a 16-year-old boy who is placed with a family in the suburbs following the death of his drug addict mother. But he refuses to integrate into the social setting that surrounds him. He invents another life for himself, similar to that of his mates at the big Parisian high school he goes to. There's no reason for that to change. His two lives, his home life, and his school life must be kept separate at all costs.Written by
Nassim is a proud boy; in his good high school,his mates come from a good
background .He refuses pity,so he conceals his milieu: a junkie mother who dies at the beginning of the movie: we see him live with her only for a short while but we know from the start that he takes care of her ,shopping,cooking, house-cleaning ;but he never takes his friends to his seedy apartment :Nassim is a proud boy.
After her death ,he is sent to a community home;here he meets losers, but he does not want to mix with that riffraff ;he comes into conflict with the tutors ;only the woman who runs the place (Yolande Moreau) ,about to retire , sometimes succeeds in communicating with him ,with little victories and big defeats.Nassim is a proud boy.
When he 's told that he may perhaps not stay in his high school,he rebels :but his marks are disastrous and in mathematics,he's got problems with the probability and the series ;another girl from the home ,a black girl,who struggles hard to become a doctor ,makes a deal with him: they will help each other.But Nassim is not a boy you can get on easily with:he's proud.
But ,at sixteen ,he is still a child; the scenes when he listens to his late mom' messages on his mobile are poignant ;he will (perhaps) come to terms with the fact that he 's lost her forever in the final scenes only.
Nassim tries to tempt fate,he struggles with all his might (that's the title of the movie) ,but there are too many obstacles ;although he is good friends with the students of his school ,he certainly stops and wonders why he 's got such a raw deal -the scene when he has diner in his bourgeois pal's parents - whereas for the other youngsters ,life is so rosy .
The principal ,an unknown actor,is a promising newcomer ;he gets good support from Moreau ,a woman who's seen it all before and who wonders whether her life has really helped her unfortunate protégés.
However ,the woman director is not Kenneth Loach : there are many plot holes in the screenplay : that Nassim can become a good student again in this mess is a little implausible ; there are too many characters ,some of them ,such as Mina , are too underwritten ;too many sex scenes ,in what is primarily an intimate drama;and mainly,mainly , we lose sight of the essentials : a mother's loss, when you are sixteen ,is the worst misfortune which can happen to you : why must it happen to ME?
Watch it anyway : on the "feel good" current French scene, we are desperately in need of films such as this one.
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