Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Teen Amour Fou: I'm Gonna Explode

Voy a Explotar/I'm Gonna Explode (2008) - Naranjo
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It starts with Roman (Juan Pablo de Santiago), an upper class trouble kid getting expelled from a private catholic school by plotting murderous rampage in his note book. The film is narrated by another troubled soul Maru (Maria Deschamps), and they hook up after her school talent show where Roman performs his "See you in hell" routine. They are match made in heaven. They decide to hide out on the roof of Roman's big mansion (his dad is a sleazy congressman) while grown-ups scramble around to find them.

The natural soft look with crushed black and handheld camera work are just gorgeous. Guanajuato an affluent town in Acapulco backdrop is also beautiful. The two young leads are great, especially Deschamps, with her frizzy hair and mischievous baby face. Their daily routine on the rooftop is playful and funny. Roman keeps trying to have sex with Maru to no avail. These young teens interactions are very natural and endearing. But you feel the inevitable is approaching. Their days in paradise isn't gonna last long.

If I'm Gonna Explode is saying anything, it's the reflection on the blank generation. Roman and Maru get bored. It's just like Simpson's episode where Bart tries to imagine Itchy and Scratchy show in his head all by himself after the show gets canceled- "Nothing can't beat the imagination of a 10 year old boy", Bart tells himself while the mouse & cat ldling, looking at the watch and each other and shrugging their shoulders in his mind. The bigger problem with I'm Gonna Explode is in Naranjo's writing. Once stuck in the mold of its predecessors, namely French New Wave, it has to end predictably, hence wasting all the youthful energy and charm of its characters it fed off of. The other teen Amour Fou this year, Love Exposure, albeit directed by a less classically trained director, Sion Sono (Naranjo went to AFI, Sono was an underground poet), works a lot better in many different levels. Still, clocking at mere 105 minutes, the film captures what it feels to be young and an outcast perceptively. The film is fresh and Deschamps is adorable.


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