Teen Angst: The Edge of Seventeen

It’s been a while since I’ve done a film review or talked about a film. Recently I watched The Edge of Seventeen on Netflix and I thought I’d talk about it.

It was a good movie. At first I thought I might not like it as it seemed to be a bit dark. But then as the movie started to progress I got into it more and more. Nadine is an interesting character. She has her own set of problems that follow her through out the film. She clashes with her mom, has a perfect brother and doesn’t fit in in school.

Then she meets her friend Krista and things change. Krista also has her own problems at home but she looks at the positive side of things. Then there is Nadine’s dad who keeps the family together.

Okay from this point on there shall be spoilers.

 

Let’s talk about the plot.

They started with the end, sort of, and then worked their way back from the beginning filling in the gaps. It was like getting a spoiler of a TV show and then deciding to stop and then go back to the beginning so you understand everything that is going on.

I like that technique, it keeps me interested in the film as I want to know what happened to make her say she wanted to commit suicide.

The film also starts off being about friendship, the friendship of Nadine and Krista, but ends being about Nadine. That was a surprise. I thought they’d focus on their friendship but no, it was more about Nadine working through her issues with her friends, her mother, her brother and herself.

It was really a film about self discovery and accepting yourself and working through your problems. Sometimes all you need to do is talk. The main problem in the film is solved when Nadine and her brother finally say what they’ve been thinking all these years.

However the film is also very awkward. Nadine has no filter and does not think before she speaks and so at many times I was cringing so hard watching the film. So if you don’t enjoy awkward moments this film may not be for you.

Let’s talk about the characters.

I related to Nadine in a way. She had low self esteem I thought. She really didn’t think much of herself and there were moments where she was honest with herself and it was sad. I’d sit there and be like, “Aww you’re not that bad! Love yourself!”

She needed to talk about her issues. The only time she did was when she was narrating but that didn’t help her, it helped us the audience though. For example: her issues with her brother. It was solved when she finally said what it was that she thought (that he had a perfect life and was adored whilst she was not). Then her brother also told her what he thought (that his life was far from perfect and he was the one who was always putting out the fires). When they understood each other they were able to sort out their issues. So really the lesson was talk to each other.

Erwin was the cutest character. He was so awkward but he liked Nadine for who she was and I liked that. She kept pursuing that guy Nick but Erwin was where it was at. I mean she totally liked Erwin, when she was with him it was the one time in the film that she would smile genuinely. I liked that he saw her and that he included her. Everywhere she went in school or to the party she wasn’t included but Erwin included her effortlessly with his friends and in his life.

Krista was a cool friend but she didn’t include Nadine. She got a boyfriend and then she left Nadine behind. Nadine distanced herself first, yes, but then when she agreed to go with them they kind of just left her. To be honest I think it was a long time coming. Krista was already moving on from the friendship.

Then there was Mr. Bruner. He was a cool character and a weird teacher. Their relationship provided the comic relief of the movie and some of the sweetest moments. He was kind of like her adult self in some ways.

Her mother was another problem in the film. The relationship that Darian and Nadine had with her was what caused most of the breakdowns.  It wasn’t clear, to me, why she was like that. They hinted at it but they didn’t outright say it. So I have many theories.

All in all the film was good. It focused on Nadine and so the other characters kind of fell off to the side when Nadine was not focused on them. It was a small cast anyway so it was not too much of a problem. They managed to tell the story and regardless if you like it or not you will learn something from the movie.

Overall I’ll give it a three out of five.

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