Naked and spectacular

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Close (2022) Lukas Dhont

An intimate friendship between two 13-year-old boys in Belgium is damaged when the boys start high school.

An exceptionally tender depiction of this unself-conscious relationship gives way to an emotionally manipulative tear-jerker. The screening I attended there was one person who couldn't stop sobbing before the film was even halfway through and had to be gently led out by her partner. I remained unmoved as I tried to throw myself into the despair of the film's world; I wanted to cry too. The tangible reality and tragedy of the situation were not conveyed, neither the true impact the events had on the protagonist, so we merely watch the characters go on with their lives, interrupted by long scenes of various people crying. The beauty of the intimacy between boys, the protagonist with his friend, and with his brother, is delicately conveyed in a few gestures and expressions, and it's rarity and precarity is poignant.

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