›› Teenage Kicks ‹‹

a film by Craig Boreham.

2016 | 98 mins | Australia.

an emotional roller coaster on the growing pains of youth.

Dave says:

After many years of unrelenting effort, noted Australian writer and director Craig Boreham triumphantly succeeded in bringing a feature length version of his acclaimed 2009 short Drowning to the screen; the result of which not surprisingly makes for an exhilarating take of the coming-of-age scenario.

For this is the story of Miklós Varga (Miles Szanto) aka Mik to this friends; namely a troubled teen reeling from the sudden death of his elder brother Tomi (Nadim Kobeissi) as seen in both present and flashback form, whilst equally trying to come to terms with his burgeoning sexuality and in particular his intense longing for his best friend Dan (Daniel Webber). Forever planning to take a trip away together to escape the domineering and at times all too violent tough love approach of their parents, their close bond is soon to be put to the test when Dan falls for local girl Phaedra (Charlotte Best). Envious of her affluent social background and all too aware that she threatens to come between him and his man, Mik rapidly descends into a downward spiral of the drugs 'n' jealousy variety, one that pushes his friendship with Dan to breaking point. Question is - will it survive?

For that's the burning issue that dominates this powerful work, with Boreham building upon one dramatic event after another in a series of twists and sexual turns that would put any relationship under strain. Yet this is a complicated story, with Szanto and in spite of a clear age difference in the narrative department, nonetheless wonderfully reprising his role of Mik, here baring his heart 'n' soul and a lot more besides, his anguish being almost too much to take at times, with his character forever in fear of losing the man he loves, whilst ravaged by guilt over his brother's death, only to turn to strangers in the night for shelter and the brotherly love he misses and deeply longs for.

Backed by fine support from one and all and in particular from Anni Finsterer as the mother of the piece and Webber as object of desire Dan who delivers a wonderful chemistry when paired alongside Szanto, above all this is a film about taking responsibility for your actions, as a boy becomes a man. Beautifully shot, edited and directed, the result not only makes for an emotional roller coaster on the growing pains of youth, but a captivating ride that's frankly well worth taking. Say no more.

›› available as part of the BOUNTY FILMS catalogue: 23rd October, 2017 / UK.
›› posted: Friday, 28th January, 2022.

Gay Visibility - overt | Nudity - the full monty | Overall - file under ... 4 stars

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