There can be no doubting the conviction and integrity of the creative team behind "Needle Boy." The direction is solid, the cinematography beautiful, and the acting committed and daring. Unfortunately, all this artfulness is in the service of a threadbare plot, ninety minutes spent with a despicable main character.
After losing several classmates to a freak boating accident, Nick wanders through a long day in various stages of depression. The film does not make it clear whether the accident is the key to his sullenness and anger; in fact, it implies that he was already a sociopath.
He shows little regard for his devoted girlfriend, openly mocks people, and kicks dogs. He also speaks so few words that we never get to know him, despite his constant presence onscreen.
The movie do go on, with scene after scene of club life, bars, and wandering dark streets, punctuated with sad and explicit sex. We meet only one slightly likeable character, a doe-eyed raver who shares a moment of poetry with Nick despite having no apparent reason for being attracted to him.
One sequence stands out, with Nick visiting an overheated club whose dancing patrons are doused in sweat, their hair soggy and makeup streaming. Those who speak to Nick allude to death, implying that for this moment, Nick is among his drowned classmates. This sequence ends with Nick brawling with an acquaintance, seemingly expressing his rage at being a survivor. Unfortunately, the scene has no lasting effect, and it's difficult to see whether Nick is changed by any of his experiences.
Life has become unbearable for 23-year-old Nick who is convinced that he's an evil person. Consequently, he shows up at the university with a gun in his pocket wanting to shoot his fellow students. But something beats him to the punch; a few hours before his classmates have died in a terrible drowning accident at sea. Nick now stands alone with a gun in his pocket, and he faces 24 dark hours in Aarhus where everyone around him perceives his frustration as grief.
October 12, 2022 at 11:25 PM