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TIFF Review: Jesus

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jesus

A wayward teenager in trouble with the police turns to the person he is in constant conflict with – his father.

A battle of the bands competition serves as the introduction to a teenager named Jesus who is amongst the competitors.  He hangs out with his friends getting high on drugs and having sexual trysts while his widower father comes and goes on business trips.  There is a conflict between parent and child as the former tries to bring order and discipline to the life of the latter.  The relationship gets really tested when Jesus is part of drunken gang who beat a defenceless kid into a coma and the police go searching for the culprits.

The opening scene has one wondering if they have been dropped in the middle of a Justin Bieber concert.  One the boy band finishes the perspective shifts from the stage to the crowd as the other competitors perform.  It is a nice visual touch by filmmaker Fernando Guzzoni who really gives a sense of what the world looks like to his protagonist.  The colour pallet is muted and grainy creating a forlorn atmosphere and the documentary approach allows for the action to feel as it is unfolding right then and there.

A real problem is that the most interesting part of the concept which is the dynamics of the father and son relationship does not get really tested until an hour into the movie.  Even when the confession gets made about the crime the whole conflict ends with a major whimper.  This is a seriously missed opportunity on the part of Fernando Guzzoni.  Instead of filler moments such as an explicit teenager sex scene, the screen time would have been better spent exploring the emotional complexity between the two divided family members torn apart by the death of a loved one.

1-out-of-5

Check out all of our TIFF coverage.

Trevor Hogg is a freelance video editor and writer who currently resides in Canada; he can be found at LinkedIn.

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