Film review: Something Must Break is dangerous and sweet

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Something Must Break at the 2014 Vancouver International Film Festival

Sebastian is tired. Although barely an adult, he realizes there must be more to life than working a warehouse job that he hates. He wants something real and that includes his desire to become Ellie.

In their quest to feel alive, Sebastian/Ellie is a victim of a gay bashing after propositioning someone in a bathroom. Andreas comes to their rescue, himself getting beaten in the process. The two escape but soon part ways, leaving Sebastian/Ellie only a bloody Kleenex to treasure.

These young people are both petty criminals and thrill seekers. They meet again and their tentative interest in each other is compounded not only be Sebastian’s identity crisis, but by Andreas heterosexuality. He explains after a sleep over “I am not gay” to which Sebastian/Ellie replies ‘Neither am I”. But shortly after Andreas says, “You are so beautiful you make me want to vomit.”

What makes this coming of age story so interesting is now much director Ester Martin Bergsmark, who wrote the screenplay with Eli Levén, uses imagery and evocative sounds to create internal conflicts and angst. She also has an amazing cast of young actors creating these conflicted and very flawed characters.

Saga Becker as Sebastian/Ellie is gorgeous and every emotion is visible on her very expressive face (Becker self identifies as ‘she’ although I used the pronoun ‘they’ for the character). Iggy Malmborg is earnest and dangerous – when he says “cut me, it feels really good”, you believe him.

The film is very European – huge and bold reactions that are not overtly explained plus some graphic sex scenes and odd scenes, like sniffing bloody Kleenex.

Something Must Break is dangerous and sweet and makes for a riveting tale of emergence.

Something Must Break (Nånting måste gå sönder). Directed byEster Martin Bergsmark.  Written by Eli Levén, Ester Martin Bergsmark.  Mon. Sep 29, 2:00 pm, International Village | Thu. Oct 9, 7:00 pm, Rio.  VIsit  http://viff.org for tickets and information.

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