Being 17 (2016)

Adolescence is the only time when you learn something at all

Set in the beautiful high Pyrenees in south-west France, Damien lives with his mother Marianne, a doctor, while his father, a pilot, is on a tour of duty abroad with the French military. At school, Damien is bullied by Thomas, who lives in the farming community up in the mountains, nut learns to fight back. The boys find themselves living together when Marianne invites Thomas to come and stay with them while his mother is ill in hospital. Damien must learn to live with the boy who terrorised him.

**Rivalry, that's where sometimes it all begins.**
I don't know why this film has not been watched by many. This is a good film, a good French gay film. Like many reviewers had already mentioned, this is not your typical gay theme. It would have been better if you had tried it without knowing what kind of story is this. Anyway, I mentioned it, but it is not a spoiler if you thought so. It would have landed at you in one way or the other while learning about the film.
It was more a drama than the romance. But everything has to have a nicer initiation. So, that's how the film characters take the shape. Only those important characters like the main two and another 2-3 were the all focus. The narration clearly ignores everything else to put the story straight, despite it was not about the straight guys.
The tale was told from the perspective of Damien, a new boy moved into the small foothill town with his doctor mother and while his father serving in the army in an away tour. Sometimes, the perspective takes neural to accomplish the other aspect of the story. An unexpected rivalry begins between Damien and his classmate, Thomas, a loner who lives up in the hills in a farmland.
As the film progresses, their fight intensifies. But there comes a time to compromise when the developments around them forces them to do so. It's the turning point for them, yet they're not in the mood to shake hands. You could say what comes henceforth, but that's where you might go wrong. This tale breaks the stereotypes and brings a fresh perspective on homosexuality. Although not fully unpredictable narration.
> ❝I don't know if I'm into guys or just you.❞
Besides, the places where the film shot was magnificent. Takes place in different seasons, and each time the story well exploited the region to blend with the emotions, fierce and other moods in the drama. The two boys were good. Because of the type of their role, the film looks slow in some parts. But overall gets better with its upcoming scene.
The first two acts were nothing but the boys and their struggle to get over with their conflict. More like the random acts of normal reaction to such incidents. Only if it had tough guys on both the ends. But where it all leads were well planned that you may slightly disappoint with it. Like I was aware of a couple of things from the story, and it indeed that's how it turned out at the latter part. Otherwise, there's no complaint about it.
Despite I enjoyed watching it, not the film that I wanted. I blame my anticipation for having such opinion. I was looking for more and more things to happen, whereas the narration was riding in the simplest manner. Especially the last half an hour brought the best out of it. Yeah, you could say it ended strongly and probably a turning point for the audience to change their stance if they were not happy so far.
Firstly, it is worth watching for being a different for such concept, and that's because of the writing. Secondly the cinematography, direction, including the actors made it a better flick. But personally I was not happy about failing to come to the point in the early section. It recovered, almost at very late. And then it ended better. But still I agree it was a perfect portrayal of the older teenagers and their confusing sexuality. The contents were realistic while the film stayed true to cinematic. I hope people watch it with low expectation and patience.
_
7/10_

Wild Bunch, Fidélité Films, France 2 Cinéma, La Banque Postale Image 8, Région Midi-Pyrénées, SCOPE Pictures by André Téchiné, Céline Sciamma.
Stars: Sandrine Kiberlain, Kacey Mottet Klein, Corentin Fila, Alexis Loret.

Genres: Drama, Romance

Keywords: homophobia bullying male homosexuality in the closet pyrenees first love lgbt lgbt teen gay

03/30/2016

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