Directed by: #NoahStrattonTwine
Written by: Noah Stratton-Twine
Young, Young Men Movie Review
A tender and at times beautiful coming-of-age short film from #filmmaker Noah Stratton-Twine, Young, Young Men captures the quintessential spirit of youth in all its uncertain glory.
Ned Wakeley and John Worthy play two school friends who, at the beginning of the movie, open their exam results. This rite of passage lays the groundwork for their journey into the woods where the destination is (hopefully) a super cool summer party with girls. Along the way, our central characters reveal, rebel, and relish in their freedom.
Throw a stone in an HMV (if you can find one) and chances are you will hit a #comingofage flick. Whether it's the John Hughes movies of the 80's, or any number of indie outings, teens on the cusp of adulthood have an ingrained place within cinematic storytelling. Noah Stratton-Twine delivers his story using simple ingredients and infusing them with sunlight to reflect the natural beauty of the moments shared by the two friends. Whilst the peril of their future hangs in the air, the atmosphere of Young, Young Men is completely aloof, letting time stand still for a moment, as it does for all kids at the start of their summer break.
The performances are superb, in particular the chemistry between Ned Wakeley and John Worthy. Their banter and jovial roughhousing seems entrenched in authentic boy friendships, where the awkward conflict to appear knowledgeable when they literally know nothing is acutely poignant. There is anxiety and uncertainty written all over their faces and it's only when one is comforting the other that they seem in control. Events never take a turn towards crudeness either, unlike a lot of films from this genre.
Stratton-Twine utilises limited settings which is to his credit. This story could easily have spilled into classrooms, home life etc, which would have distracted from the alluring momentum of the piece which completely benefits from the simplicity of the shoot. Some of the audio was difficult to hear but this is likely a monetary issue rather than an oversight.
As mentioned, there are a plethora of movies to be found within this genre so drawing comparisons is easy, but Young, Young Men felt most comparable to the tremendous 2013 indie film Kings of Summer. The combination of youthful characters and a natural setting allows the subtle nuances of the characters and their dynamics to play out unspoiled. This is a familiar British friendship we are witnessing but the filmmakers deliver it with a refreshing sense of vibrancy and purest cinematic skill.