Balli (Áskell Einar Pálmason) is being bullied and an incident of violence lands him in hospital. Having to use a mask to aid his recovery, he feels more of an outcast than ever until he meets Addi (Birgir Dagur Bjarkason) who takes pity on him and brings him into his group.
There he meets Addi’s friends, some boys who are about as normal as any other with their own backgrounds and reasons for doing what they do. Just like teenage boys though, they tend to do things like destroying property, taking drugs and talking about sex because there’s just nothing else to do. Although some of them would rather do that rather than go home to their parents.
Beautiful Beings (or Berdreymi in Icelandic) is a coming of age drama which focuses on a group of teenage boys trying to cope with their emotions. Among the group are boys who are afraid that they might be gay and others who are so scared of going home that they wait until it gets dark.
Director Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson has put together a cast of young men who all have their own backstories and feel like real teenagers living out this tale of friendship.
However, Addi’s thoughts are taking on a life of their own and could be something quite different from the others. Because he sees visions of things that aren’t there and his dreams take him to places nobody else has seen. It could be because his mother is psychic, but it could also be due to some underlying mental health issues that have gone undiscovered.
A film which feels partly inspired by Stand by Me and Trainspotting, a great cast of young actors is put together to give an authentic feeling to modern teenage life. However, as with the start of an ugly duckling type story, there must be an inevitable conclusion. This means that perhaps once Balli’s own story is revealed, then the audience may know what’s coming.
Something that’s left up to interpretation in a lot of ways, Beautiful Beings portrays the start of a beautiful friendship.
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