Krampack | Chicago Reader

Krampack

his Spanish coming-of-age film, the second feature by writer-director Cesc Gay, distinguishes itself by not shying away from the polymorphous perversity of teenage sexuality. Dani (Fernando Ramallo) and Nico (Jordi Vilches), adolescent boys vacationing on the Mediterranean coast with Dani's family, are ready to leave behind their mutual masturbation sessions and lose their virginity, and their summer flirtations with two girls (Marieta Orozco and Esther Nubiola) seem likely to be consummated. But at some point both boys begin to realize that Dani is more interested in spending time with Nico than in pursuing women. Even before that conflict kicks in, Gay (adapting Jordi Sanchez's play with Thomas Aragay) avoids most of the pitfalls of the genre: his actors' droll, deadpan delivery edges the film away from wacky comedy and brings out its absurdist undertones. When the boys' diverging sexual desires start to pull the youth-comedy narrative apart, Gay develops their dilemma honestly and without sentiment. Not an immensely ambitious film, but a satisfying one. 90 min.

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