A Night Too Young (Prilis Mlada Noc) (tbc)

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Review byJennifer Tate17/10/2012

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 65 mins

A Night Too Young is an incredibly harrowing and controversial coming-of-age story that ultimately, doesn’t have much to offer thanks to truly unsettling scenes and a climax that neither presents justice or enlightenment.

What’s it all about?
Directed and co-written by Olmo Omerzu, A Night Too Young is a harrowing tale, telling the story of two unnamed twelve year old boys, whose twenty-something teacher, Katerina (Natálie Rehorová), approaches them whilst sledging and cajoles them into buying a bottle of vodka for her for a New Year’s Eve party she’s throwing with her two male friends, Stepan (Jirí Cerný) and David (Martin Pechlát). When the boys arrive at her house that night, armed with the requested litre of vodka and pack of cigarettes, they are invited in and are immediately sucked into the threesome’s seedy night of promiscuous sex, excessive drinking and uncomfortable disputes, which are worsened with the arrival of a policeman, who’s called to the house after complaints of loud noise.

The Good
A Night Too Young’s cold and murky city setting does well in setting up the forthcoming chilling antics and the adults’ shady and questionable intentions. As soon as the three main characters are introduced, it straightaway provokes a sense that something sinister lurks around the corner, as the impressionable boys are later coaxed into illegal activities that they naively, but understandably, believe they’re mature enough to partake in. Voltech Machuta and Jan Vasi as the two vulnerable pre-teens are both remarkably mature in their roles in this tightly controlled Czech/Slovenian drama, handling the vexing storyline with noticeable ease. Finally, the A Night Too Young’s capsule running time of 65 minutes ensures it doesn’t overstay its welcome with its rather controversial and disturbing storyline.

The Bad
It has to be said that A Night Too Young makes for quite unpleasant viewing overall, and it’s a wonder as to who would actually find the film enjoyable in a mainstream or conventional sense. There’s nothing fun about watching the stomach-churning and sinisterly ambiguous relationship between the adults and children, which whilst successful in provoking us to grow increasingly suspicious over the notions and reasons for Katerina’s behaviour, are truly too uncomfortable to watch. The most disturbing scene involves a passionate kiss between Katerina and one of the minors (who actually looks closer to 8, than 12) after teasing him all night by going commando in a short slip. The unfulfilling finale also offers no real sense of conclusion or true insights into the characters’ backgrounds or motives, which is a disappointment.

Worth seeing?
This overt and disquieting Czech/Slovenian drama is remarkably hard to swallow and its final climax is disappointing and unrewarding. A Night Too Young is definitely not one for the Saturday afternoon crowd.

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Content updated: 26/09/2015 06:12

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