Country: Spain / others
Movie Review: “Beautiful Youth” is disappointing, even considering the strong theme about the demoralizing social reality lived in Spain, where unemployment loomed a couple years ago, hampering the youths from building decent lives and leaving no margin for dreams or high hopes. The film, set in Madrid, starts particularly unfocused. There’s a worried mother and their three sons – Natalia, who occasionally steals from stores' beauty sections and decided to have an experience on amateur porn with her boyfriend Carlos (only to win 300 euros); Pedro who’s not doing great in his studies and says ‘I’m fucking sick of this woman’ when talks about his mom; and the little one, Irene who still need extra cares. The father left the house some years ago and only Natalia maintains contact with him. After a while, it becomes clear that Natalia and Carlos, both 20, are the ones to follow in this pessimistic adventure, which was no more than a potentially acceptable idea turned into an unskilled exercise. Natalia gets pregnant and starts looking for a job, however, her wish never materializes. In turn, Carlos, underpaid in occasional construction jobs, plunges into inertia and seems only concerned with video games and obtaining financial compensation from having been stabbed in the neck during a brawl. The whole is weaker than some parts, resulting in an uneven tale that was never really connected. By the end of the film there are some questionable options (photographs, skype) that first mislead us, and then take us to the infuriating conclusion. Filmmaker Jaime Rosales doesn’t seem to be the same who elegantly directed the sensational art-house “Dream and Silence” in 2012. Everything collapsed in “Beautiful Youth” - the camera moves awkwardly and tactless, the photography is unattractive, and the editing, a flop. Budget's fault? Blah!