The Giants – Released in Selected Cinemas 13 July
Review by Robert W. Monk
Alternately charming, thoughtful and disturbing, The Giants (Les Géants) is a beautifully made and insightful look at the trials and tribulations of growing up. Calling to mind classic coming of age stories, most notably the Rob Reiner trip into adolescent adventure Stand by Me (with a dash of Lord of the Flies thrown in),The Giants is grounded in the realities of emotional and physical hardship but retains a flare for the fantasy life of youth.
Writer and director Bouli Lanners’ (Eldorado, A Very Long Engagement) piece centres around teenage brothers Seth (Martin Nissen) and Zak (Zacherie Chasseriaud), who are whiling away their summer in their recently deceased Grandfather’s dwelling in the Belgian countryside. Their mother, little more than a voice at the end of a phone line, is away on unspecified business, leaving her sons to roam free. In a desperate attempt to quell hunger pangs and boredom, the boys decide to rent out the house to a local marijuana grower and dealer. Hooking up with the dealer’s bullying right hand man’s (Karim Leklou) younger brother Dany (Paul Bartel), the boys head off in search of distraction – encountering unexpected kindness, danger and youthful intoxication…
The Giants is a hugely accomplished work featuring fine, moving performances from its young cast and a funny, believable plot that packs a tremendous amount into its lean 84 minutes. Highly recommended, the film – which received a fair amount of attention and a couple of awards at last year’s Cannes Festival – deserves to crossover from the art house cinemas to a wider audience. Should you get the chance, go see it, or failing that wait for the forthcoming DVD and Bluray release.