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Criticism of ‘Close’, tragic adolescent friendship

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The Belgian production ‘Close’, by Lukas Dhont, presents us with the story of two young friends who, after an unexpected event, have to separate.

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    After his debut film ‘Girl’ (2018), Lukas Dhont once again captures an experience queer adolescent with an undeniable hypersensitivity, but also with the same taste for taking dramatic conflict to an extreme situation bring tears to the audience. The first part of ‘Close’ portrays the friendship between the two leading boys, Léo and Rémi, in one of those intense and unique connections that take place throughout a magical summer. To then follow how this pure bond is affected when moving to another socialization environment, the school. ‘Close’ becomes like this an acute portrait of how the gaze of others ends up affecting an a priori perfect relationship.

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    In its second half, the film turns into a drama around Léo’s grief after his tragic breakup with Rémi. Although Dhont resorts to ellipses and maintains his usual naturalistic and empathetic tone, it is still uncomfortable that the director ends up reducing the character of Rémi and her ordeal as a boy queer to a mere resource at the service of enhancing the impact on viewers of Léo’s emotional process.

    To break down in tears with a tragic story of teenage friendship

    The best: the interpretations of the young Eden Dambrine and Gustav De Waele.

    The worst: leaves a certain residue of emotional manipulation.

    DATA SHEET

    Address: lukas dont Distribution: Eden Dambrine, Gustav De Waele, Émilie Dequenne, Léa Drucker, Igor van Dessel Country: Belgium Year: 2022 Release date: 25–11-2022 Gender: Drama Script: Angelo Tijssens, Lukas Dhont Duration: 105 minutes

    Synopsis: Léo and Rémi, 13, are lifelong friends. Until an unthinkable event separates them. Léo then approaches Sophie, Rémi’s mother, to try to understand.

    Source: Fotogramas

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