Sonntag, 29. Juni 2014
Filmfest München: Young Ones
The narrative aspect of American writer/director Jake Paltrow's "Young Ones" is problematic. The plot doesn't have an immediately identifiable hook or a consistent, emotional anchor, so it's hard to feel invested in this post-apocalyptic tale set in a water-deficient future that's sort of about a father-son relationship. The relative roughness of the direction is most pronounced during a pivotal scene that presents the central conflict of the film, where perspectives, motives, consequences are neither clearly nor efficiently staged, causing a further loss of momentum in the storytelling.
What makes this film nonetheless quite special is the unexpectedly and wonderfully retro feel it brings. From the editing that's heavy on the fading effect, the numerous dramatic close-ups and intense zooms, the overall timeless, sandpapered look, to the smart, disorienting soundtrack that features both oldies and creepy, modernistic compositions, this movie deliberately depicts the future with a nostalgic approach and the contrast is exciting. That the director opts for a largely de-CG-ed style and to actually build many of the futuristic props complements that strategy and pays off handsomely. Of the actors, Michael Shannon is as reliable as always, his absence in the latter part of the movie makes a sudden lack of weight on screen felt. Kodi Smit-McPhee is probably the most successful casting choice though. With his distinct presence- all limbs, bones and forehead- he offers enough blankness and oddness to intrigue, and he chases that with a reasonable dose of solid acting in the final act, too. Nicholas Hoult is the obvious weak link of the group, unconvincing at some crucial turns of events in a semi-villainous role.