#REVIEW: “THE WE AND THE I”
After trying his hand at a Blockbuster in The Green Hornet, French-born Writer/Director Michel Gondry focuses back on the Art in his latest Feature, The We and the I. Capturing the essence and aroma of The Bronx perfectly, Gondry takes us on a Bus Ride along with a group of Teenagers on their last day of school.
Tensions get so thick among these Kids, you can almost breathe-in some of that humidity in the air this Summer Day. As each stop passes and they exit one by one, we get a Snapshot of the complexities of Teenage Life in a post-Facebook and Twitter World. Issues are brought to light among some of these Kids, which seeped beneath the surface an entire School Year. Some get the closure they had hoped for, while some are ready to start new beginnings with one another.
With insecurities abound universally among these Characters, The We and the I is a reminder just how nasty and cruel Adolescence really can be – the constant need to maintain facades in who we group ourselves with, potentially shaping who we become eventually in life. The bullying among one another is uncensored and raw, and hence authentic if painful at times to watch. Hormones and tempers alike are raging, as the Film which among others, touches upon issues of Self-Image, Relationships, the questioning of Sexuality and Self-Acceptance.
Although largely a Cast of non-professional Actors playing fictionalized versions of themselves – some more robotic deliveries than others – there are a few potential greats here including Brandon Diaz who plays a heartbroken Gay Teen receiving some shocking news from his Boyfriend on the Bus. Laidychen Corrasco also fights with the best of them, terrifying the heck out of the Kids at the back of the Bus for teasing her little Brother.
Gondry makes some odd choices in terms of Visual Effects on this Microbudget, which at times detract tonally from the Film. At moments it’s comedic, at times it’s dramatic, but never definitively commits to either. Overall, there are bountiful things a Teenager grappling with their own identity can find truth in here.
108 Media releases The We and the I:
Montreal, April 23 at PHI Centre and April 26 – May 3 at the Cinema de Parc
Halifax, May 1 at the Carbon Arc Cinema
Toronto, May 17 – 24, at TIFF Bell Lightbox