- Director: Bouli Lanners
- Genre: Drama
- Details: Belgium / 84mins (TBC)
A teen movie is one of three things: a sex comedy (American Pie/Animal House), a coming of angsty romantic drama (John Hughes) or something altogether darker (River's Edge, Kids). This Belgian outing avoids all points on that triangle.
The first time we're introduced to thirteen-year-old Zak (Chasseriaud) and his fifteen-year-old Seth (Nissen) they are listening to Joy Division (or someone ripping them off) while driving a car even though they're barely able to see over the dashboard. They pick up local friend Dany (Bartel), who knows where to buy some weed and, after braving Dany's psychotic Neanderthal of an older brother (a deliciously unhinged Karim Leklou), they make it to their riverside hut to smoke it up. With no one to keep them in check and with little cash to buy food, the three turn to local drug dealer Beef (Didier Toupy), who offers to rent out their grandfather's house for six months while he grows his next batch of marijuana. Out on the street, the boys' cash does not last long and they're forced to turn to other means to survive…
That competently written plot synopsis might sound like it's inner city set but the movie takes place in the picturesque countryside dominated by luscious hills on which holiday homes sit. Like Stand By Me adults are noted by either their absence or their complete lack of care but unlike that 1986 hit there is no cuddly reconciliation or tearful emotional breakdown. Zak and Seth's mother has abandoned them, their father is never mentioned, Dany's older brother is more likely to hit set his dog on them than anything else, Beef is out to only screw them over, as are the movers that come to take their stuff away.
The mother figure dominates. The only woman that offers some form of comfort is Rosa (70s It Girl Marthe Keller), who offers the boys a brief respite from their troubles when she takes them in for a night (she also clothes them in her castaways). The only other woman, Beef's associate, the tight-lipped Gwen Berrou, never offers a word of warmth. With so little female kindness, the boys turn to the role themselves; during the break in, Zak dresses up in women's clothing while they all indulge in makeup tomfoolery in the bathroom, destroying the loo and the house in the process. These three are the giants of the title. They may be kids but they have more to offer than the supposed adults around them. All three deliver flawless performances.
Even though the plot is on the loose side for those who wish their teen movies could be more than the prom or pacts about losing their virginity will find enough to savour.
Review by Gavin Burke | 10:11 | Friday 13th July 2012 | Movie Review
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