Saturday, June 11, 2016

Adventures of a different kind

KNOCKAROUND KIDS (2013)

Produced By: Breathe films and others
Director: John Adekoje
Starring: Ramona Alexander, Peter Doherty, Billy Leamey, Vianca Colocho, and others
Pros: Good story, does not preach
Cons: Little thought, no real ending
Rating: *** of 5 (3 of 5)

I've been trying to make use of the little extra time I've acquired this summer to watch some independent films. Of course, I like some (very little) of the mainstream stuff, but some independent films have turned out to be very good, so why not? Plus, it will help me understand a little more about Western society and how it works (I think). In this category, after Waterberry Tears, I've been looking around for some interesting coming-of-age films, and that's how Knockaround Kids happened.

Set in Massachusetts, where a group of kids are committed to the "protection" of the state, it follows the horrors of living under a bureaucracy for kids who need nothing more than love and attention, but whose parents can't provide it for various reasons. The movie has an excellent story and, most importantly, it does not try to preach. This is not a feel-good film, and it does not try to impose a story. It flows quite naturally, with each character having their own shades of emotion, and all of them are allowed to grow, and the audience to get to know them. That is very hard to achieve for any director!

But then, perhaps it was too easy for this one, because despite the natural flow, the story doesn't seem to have any thought put into it. Don't get me wrong, it is a good story, but it doesn't go anywhere. Not only does the director avoid a tailor-made ending, he actually seems to avoid any ending at all, making the ending quite abrupt. This was the real tragedy of an otherwise excellent movie that had great potential. Had. (OTFS)

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