“There’s just some stuff that you can’t share” – 2:37 (2006)

Written by Yara

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10:15 – They have no idea
11:41 – I can’t forgive them
12:22 – I lie to my mother
13:40 – I’ve had enough
14:37 – It’s over

It’s an ordinary high school day. Teachers give lectures, students talk during class and complain about their parents; everything is the way it’s supposed to be. However, at 2:37pm someone commits suicide in one of the bathrooms.
We go back in time and follow the day of six different teenagers, all of them have their own personal struggle, all of them are suffering and all of them have a reason.

This is the basic plot of this movie that crudely deals with subjects such as homophobia, bullying, anorexia, among others. Teenage angst it’s not a fresh theme in fiction, however, the way directors and writers choose to deal with these matters makes the whole difference. In 2:37 the audience travels among non-chronological fragments of life from six different people, we see memories, but we also see black and white inner monologues portrayed as a two people interview; we observe these people but we are also inside their heads. The point of view shifts from one person to another and the audience is stimulated to put together the puzzle pieces that will culminate in the tragic end. There is always a shadow of doubt and there is always something else beneath the surface, there is always something else lurking in the background. But more than anything, the mysterious bathroom from the beginning of the movie never really leaves you mind.

This movie received a lot of criticism because of the theme and the same frame-by-frame technique used in Gus Van Sant’s Elephant (I’ll probably review Elephant in the near future), but one must recognize that 2:37 is also intriguing and shamelessly raw. The acting is rough but very genuine, the scenes are hostages of natural lighting and the sequences shift from one take to several editions.

Regardless of its “non-original” fame, this movie brings a new approach on extremely serious matters that – when in relation to teenagers – are treated as something trivial or exaggerated; after all… “It’s just a phase.”

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