TIFF 2016: Our Review of ‘Nocturama’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Movies, TIFF 2016 by - September 14, 2016



The first sections Bertrand Bonnello’s Nocturama is what Drive wishes it was. There are a lot of silences as characters ride different metro lines. But there’s something suspicious as these young, multiracial characters of different ages nod to each other. As if reminding each other of a secret agreement. The film implies and further explains that these high-school aged kids are planning a terrorist attack.

Watching a film like this might be triggering, especially to me because of the recent attacks at the Bataclan Theatre and Pulse nightclub. Yes the film justifies itself it pleading for its audience to see things in these kids’ perspectives. The political landscape is different from it was after 9/11, when we have to wait half a decade before we can use superhero movies to talk about what happened. Our wounds from recent attacks might be fresh, since they seem to happen so frequently. Yet we still have to confront these issues head on.

The characters are successful in pulling off a series of actions that teo the line between expensive vandalism and terror. They do so in multiple locations downtown. The kids hide in a local shopping mall, their presence reminding me of survivors of zombie films. They gets flashbacks of what they’ve done, scenes reminiscent of Godard, although Bonnello adds a sense of haunting guilt to them. This is when the film lags. It is a shame that it’s difficult to make waiting games cinematic, no matter how entertaining the characters try to be.

This post was written by
While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watches movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.

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