Natt Til 17: Youth In Revolt

A coming of age story from the critically acclaimed director Eirik Svensson aims to depict a specific time of youth when the drama begins. By putting a love triangle in the centre, what the movie actually seems to be dealing with is peer pressure that mostly causes to gain the habit of committing violence and robbery, using drugs, drinking and stealing in the name of ‘brotherhood.’ While the plot is not original, Svensson achieves to create an interesting public service announcement with a high-toned cinematic eye.

Natt Til 17 is translated into ‘Night to the 17th’ as the events in the movie that cause everything to get out of hand occur on the Eve of the National Day of Norway which is May 17th. While the boys have different immigrant backgrounds, the girls are all Norwegian, which shows us the director is clearly approaching the subject in an original angle rather than making it just a race issue.

The main title sequence of the movie is one of those sequences that looks so promising that it engulfs the viewer right away. Wasted youth is demonstrated in a quite cool way as it seems like the footages were taken from the moments of real people on the streets. Svensson seems to be highly influenced by the technique of Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera here. Documentary of crowds, automobiles, street workers and things that are related to a city with the city as it were a living thing itself.

The cast is all amateur which helps the acting become extremely realistic as ‘Nothing feels more real than amateur soul’, they say. Improvised lines coming out of teens makes the movie quite believable although lighting may distract the viewers from keeping themselves inside the story. Most of the times the director of cinematography seems to have focused on the beauty of the scene so much that he sometimes keeps forgetting what the story is trying to tell and causes the movie to look like literally a commercial or a video clip.  Also the party scene might easily come out from a Hollywood movie. Though it could be a choice of the director in order to say something about the Generation Z. As pretension has never been this obvious before, which is also a result of today’s peer pressure.