Starring: Martin Compston, Michelle Coulter, Annmarie Fulton
Director: Ken Loach
Running Time: 106 mins
Sweet Sixteen is a British film about a Scottish teenager who aims to create a normal family life for when his mum is released from prison, however in his situation, he must find a way to raise money for a home.
Well, this is a different look at the usual problematic youth story, with more hints of positivity behind it than total doom and gloom. Despite that, it’s still a very brutal story, and as gritty as any you’d normally expect, however I didn’t find it anywhere near as intriguing or emotional as I thought it would be, with this more unorthodox approach.
Generally, you get these sort of films coming along, and they normally bring across a message about how terrible youth are nowadays and that they’re all troublemakers and ne’er-do-wells, and that can be a little tedious and out of touch.
However, the most impressive thing about this film is how it looks at this phenomenon from a different approach. Instead of directly placing the blame on young people, it shows that social situations and upbringings are a much more significant cause of this sort of behaviour.
And that was definitely a very interesting theme to follow along to, because as you see this young man descend into the drug/crime underworld, you don’t look upon him with disappointment or disdain, but are instead sympathetic towards him, knowing that his fundamental intentions are good.
However, apart from that story, there wasn’t too much else to be interested by in this film in my opinion. It’s full of initially shocking characters, but I felt as if there was a bit of a lack of development as the film went on, while the relationships of some of the supporting characters were almost irrelevant, and didn’t add much to the story at all.
Overall, this gets a 6.8, because despite being fundamentally interesting and different, I was just not consistently intrigued by the characters and main plot.