12 and Holding (2005)


Link: 12 and Holding

Summary: After bullies accidentally kill a twelve year old, his two best friends and his brother deal with his death in various ways, his brother by seeking lethal revenge on the bullies.

Thoughts: One of the more bizarre films I’ve seen.  Its quirky awkward humor seems too upbeat for how sad everyone’s situation really is.  It creates a bizarre atmosphere in which you’re not sure whether the film is trying to make you laugh or cry.  Perhaps it’s trying to make you do both, or perhaps it’s only trying resist being too heavy-handed either way, but the product is only a weird muddled confusion that pushes you out of the story (rather than the sort of natural forwardness Truffaut might’ve been able to manage).  There’s something about the dialog that doesn’t quite work either, something a bit forced and unnatural about the things people say to each other, and the ways they emotionally react to each other.  I can’t quite put my finger on why it doesn’t work, but it just didn’t feel very honest to me.  I did, however, appreciate the rather dark ending that leaves you a bit unsettled.