Wij (2018)

Unrated   |    |  Drama


Wij (2018) Poster

Eight teens - four guys and four girls - are the best of friends. One summer, out of boredom they experiment with all manner of new means to entertain themselves. This degenerates into some extreme behaviour and will lead to tragedy.


5.7/10
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  • Wij (2018)
  • Wij (2018)
  • Wij (2018)
  • Pauline Casteleyn in Wij (2018)
  • Tijmen Govaerts and Salomé van Grunsven in Wij (2018)
  • Michael Pas and Tijmen Govaerts in Wij (2018)

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6 October 2018 | Marc_Horrickan
6
| A Wonderful Young Ensemble Cast are Cut Adrift in This Messy Vice-produced Drama
Rene Eller's adaptation of a shocking novel by Elvis Peeters has all the hallmarks of its Vice co-producers sub-Mondo, faux docudrama approach. This makes for a queasy mix of wrong-headed moralising and vapid sensationalism that seems cribbed from REQUIEM FOR A DREAM.

The film has a slightly Rashomon-structure, as four of the film's gang of privileged delinquents tell their differing versions of events. The latter version is from the ringleader Thomas (played with real sleazy noxiousness by Aime Claeys), and pulls in the film's most difficult narrative strand, namely that of the perverted mayor's sex scandal. This whole section is problematically rendered, as the film seems to hint at the idea that child-sex scandals may not be about the exploitation of innocents. There is a damaging disconnect in the film between what is being shown, the way it is being shown and the wider context within which these things could be said to operate. None of this would have really been so much of an issue if Eller didn't so devotedly follow the Vice handbook and attempt to blur boundaries between factual and fictional forms of narrative address.

What is undeniable is that Eller has been able to extract strong performances from his young cast, made up mainly of non-professionals. It is a shame then, that the material to which their great efforts have been put to the service of, is so trivially worked out. A little less fake meta-textuality and this may have been something more like Stephen Frears' BLOODY KIDS (1980).

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