Juvenile Delinquents: Review. By Wormatron.
Cruddy JD’s, Indeed…
“Gee, Officer Krupke, we’re very upset;
We never had the love that every
Child oughta get
We ain’t no delinquents
Deep down inside us there is good!”
Delinquent (n.) Present participle of delinquere “to fail; be wanting, fall short; do wrong, transgress, offend,” from de- “completely” + linquere “to leave”.
The rub, here, is that this group, this collection of waifs, strays, unwanted & unloved find themselves entirely unable to linquere. Engulfed in heightened tensions, post murder, the protagonists find themselves frantically searching for the least-worst solution. Somewhat fortunately, for the audience at least, Atropos, Clotho and Lachesis add another twist, as is their won’t, to this sorry tale.
From Angels with Dirty Faces, to Kids, via Rebel Without a Cause and West Side Story, cinematic history is littered with a panoply of takes on juvenile delinquency, all searching to explore the complexities of the human condition and the role of fortune, or misfortune, as the case may be.
And so, Juvenile Delinquents throws its hat into the ring. Unfortunately, beyond the always interesting premise of ‘good people forced into difficult circumstances through no fault of their own’, this offering falls short, not in its design, per se, rather it’s execution. The cinematography stands head and shoulders above both the dialogue, and the acting itself, here, both of which are laboured. Lighting, in particular, offers a glimpse of the potential success of this tale, without doubt, the best cast member. The camerawork too, especially at the outset where we meet our cast, is worthy of a far greater final product.
On reflecting as to why the film didn’t take me, I was drawn to the fact that I just didn’t really care, certainly, nothing as strong as pathos was drawn from me, for any of the individual characters, nor for their plight. And this, for me, was the greatest shame. Comparison may well be the thief of joy, but I cared about Rocky’s plight (granted, none of the cast could, or should be compared to James Cagney) & I was desperately willing Jennie on as she sought to stop Telly.
I wondered whether these trying times had stripped me of my ability to empathise with fictitious circumstances, if, in the world of 24hr rolling news where tragedy is layered on tragedy, the first being conveniently forgotten only to allow the introduction of a third, new catastrophe in order to keep the audience engaged, or to gather those ever precious clicks. This concern was very real, that was until I noticed the tears falling from my eyes as Chino was ushered away, handcuffed, with Doc, Shrank & maybe most crushingly Krupke himself watching on.
“Gee, Officer Krupke —
Wormatron is a near middle-aged misanthrope who, like everyone else in the world, streams games as a hobby. You can find them at twitch.tv/wormatron. They are no better at streaming than they are at writing reviews. Be forewarned…
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