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Una giornata qualunque di un liceo americano di Portland. Per ognuno degli studenti il liceo rappresenta un'esperienza diversa, arricchente e amicale per alcuni, solitaria o difficile per altri. Ma per qualcuno l'esperienza può essere devastante.
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Yes it's interesting to see this one school day from several points of views and the young actors are all very good, yet there's some real flaws here.
For one, the two shooters casually wander the halls and pick off victims at random. An awful lot of time passes during their stalk and the police never arrive. Is this at all possible in an age of cellphones?
What are the motivations of the dark-haired killer? We know he practices Beethoven sonatas and watches Hitler documentaries and that he and his friend briefly experiment with each other in the shower, but what has made him such a sociopath? Obviously, in a 90 minute film you can't go into too much depth on every character's life, but shouldn't more focus have been placed on events that led to bomb and weapons stockpiling and assault plans carried out with deadly results?
Then, the story has no resolution. (SPOILERS AHEAD)
The two boys reunite in the cafeteria after their individual killing sprees. One shoots the other at point-blank range, then searches the kitchen's walk-in freezer, corners a young couple and plays eeny-meenie-miney-moe with them as the camera pulls back. Cut to a cloudy sky, roll credits.
That's an ending?
Finally and most importantly, for the vast majority of viewers this film will be accepted as what it is, a depiction of tragedy. Whether such gruesomely unpredictable violence is avoidable can be debated. Of real concern is that a troubled kid may watch this and use it as a primer to launch his own school attack. This is more possible than we perhaps care to accept or imagine.
ELEPHANT is imperfect but is eminently watchable, despite no lessons learned or moral to the story.