Film Review: ‘Close’ Examines Adolescent Friendship In All It’s Purity And Complexity

Film Review: 'Close' Examines Adolescent Friendship In All It's Purity And Complexity

The opening moments of Lukas Dhont's "Exit" played rough with Leo (Eden Dambrine) and Remi (Gustav De Waele) as an urgent filter. They whisper that they are hiding from 80 imaginary enemies hiding in the dark old warehouse of the Leo family's flower plantation and come up with a plan to escape. Suddenly they were out in the sunlight, through the woods and across fields of pink and yellow and orange flowers and finished the hunt lying in the grass and laughing with their mother and the dog Rémi. Your life feels good.

Rémi played the oboe and Léos liked him. With a 13-year-old son on the way, the couple couldn't imagine their lives wouldn't always be like this. At school, when kids are constantly together, they look at each other in class and understand each other so well that they don't have to tell each other what they think. But such a perfect idyll did not last long. Your privacy is too much for some schoolmates. A girl asks if they are a couple.

Remi remained silent, but Leo grew defensive and the smiling comments from the girls fell on him. Immediately, one of the boys yelled a hostile slur, which pushed Leo away from Rémi. It's disastrous for Rémi, who is significantly more sensitive than Leo, and the film that follows is the result of a breakup. It was as if the sky had broken open.

A lot of people read the guy's relationship as gay. At the Cannes Film Festival last May, Close won the festival's Grand Prix and was nominated for the Queer Palm. Another character, as a teenager, thinks the boy is gay. I'm not sure the movie agrees with that conclusion. It's a one-of-a-kind film if you look at guys entering same-sex relationships, but perhaps a more interesting and richer film if it illustrates how our highly sexualized contemporary society reacts to Rémi and deep friendship. Lion. . It is a more imaginative and less predictable film.

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The movie makes no predictions about the two best friends. For a while, this gave Leo and Remi the freedom not to have a secret. Maybe in a fictional future they would be sexual, but the need to define them in the current moment of this film destroys the friendship and the characters.

Where the movie goes off the rails is in the visual style. Director Lukas Dhont shoots with an exaggerated and sloppy camera that makes for dizzying footage. The camera shakes, shakes and blurs the action. There is no stable place for the boys to move to; everything is turbulent and confused. These 13-year-olds can be troublesome and incoherent, but mimicking their emotional turmoil isn't enough for a nearly two-hour movie. There is no opportunity to see the context, no time to consider what is happening.

Much of "Close" produces sensational rhythms. Time flies and movies leave you with a sudden sadness and even that is not enough. Stories require a certain consistency, a deep understanding. More than two hundred years ago, the English Romantic poet William Wordsworth wrote that poetry is the result of the "natural overflow of strong feelings," but he remembered it simply.

"Close" offers plenty of "natural filler" but is omitted for the audience to watch in peace.

The film has won numerous awards in Europe and the United States, and is one of five nominees for Best Foreign Language Film at next month's Academy Awards.

The film is currently in select theaters in the Denver and Fort Collins areas.

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