1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
would make a better comic ... but worth seeing for its subtlety,
This review is from: Absent [DVD] (DVD)
Absent is an intriguing film from the director of Plan B, Marco Berger, and is brought off with rather more conviction than that film. 16-year-old Martin tricks his swimming teacher into letting him stay at his flat overnight in the hope that something sexual will happen, and the whole ambiguity of emotion arises out of this question of what both characters really feel. The main note of the film is a thriller-like not knowing which way it will go next, and Berger controls the plotline admirably. I would have welcomed more clearcut feeling, less suspension, but then it would have been a different kind of film. As it is, it could already be seen as quite provocative, and the screenplay subtly plays on the taboos that come into the setup very quickly in this kind of situation. The film has a kind of coolness, but holds the interest. A lot of it is shot in close-up. The two leads are both excellent, although Martin was too old for the part, really. Given what the film required him to do, and the frame of mind it put him in, I imagine it wouldn't have been possible to use someone of the right age, as he not so subtly flaunts himself in just his underwear both in front of the teacher and a friend of his own age, both times lying in bed, which may give a clue as to his real feelings. He did have the mannerisms of someone quite young, as did his friend, which was interesting to see acted this way because they did not seem ridiculous. However they weren't quite convincing either, and where we suspend disbelief happily enough in an opera, in a film it is harder. Maybe it should go in the opposite direction to Blue Is The Warmest Colour and be rewritten as a comic, where it could be more accurately represented? It is a bold film, though, and quite original.