Teenage Kicks (2016)


Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB

, 2016Screenplay by Cinematography by Produced by Music by Production Design by Costume Design by Film Editing by

Miklos is a distraught teen at odds with his family and with himself, receiving constant disapproval from his Eastern European immigrant parents while unable to reconcile himself with his burgeoning awareness of his own sexuality. After an altercation with his brother gets so quickly out of hand that it leads to his death, Miklos’ situation gets even darker, alienating him further from his parents while adding confusion to his feelings for his best friend Dan, with whom he soon hopes to skip town. The only kindness Miklos can seem to find is with his brother’s heavily pregnant girlfriend Annuska, with whom he takes refuge when past complications of his parentage (we find out at the beginning that his uncle is his biological father) are added to the list of things that make life at home impossible. The actors do their best with this ridiculously melodramatic film, one so determined to depress us with its dramatic stylings that it forgets to replicate the actual experience of being human: is beautiful and sympathetic as Miklos, but why the character has to be at the desperate end of worry in every single scene is really confusing, even the most oppressed young person manages a moment of humour or at least grace from time to time (it doesn’t help that Szanto, who is talented and striking, is never convincing as a teenager). The central conundrum of the character having to deal with his sexuality is not dealt with satisfactorily, so be prepared for a movie that is a miserable viewing experience in just about every possible way.

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