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(Review originally written at 30 December 2005)

The movie has a realistic, almost documentary like feeling, thanks to the way the movie is shot and acted. It provides a good and realistic view of the life of mid- '90's New York young teenagers. However the movie falls flat when it comes to shocking the audience. Some of all the things that are happening in this movie most probably happened to everyone once in their lifetime when they were a teenager, so everyone should be able to relate to some of the characters and events that are occurring in this movie, rather than be shocked by it. But the makers obviously tried to create more than just a realistic view on teenage life, it tried to shock the audience with its 'controversity' but due to the documentary style of movie making and the story that is almost non-present, it just falls flat as a 'shocker'.

I would had preferred a movie with more story and consistency in it. It would had made the movie more interesting to watch and perhaps because of that it would had also worked better in terms of shocking the audience. Now the makers only try to be controversial without just having a real story. That simply didn't worked for me.

Would this movie stop teenagers from having unprotected-sex, drinking alcohol and taking drugs? I don't think so...The movie doesn't make a powerful enough impression and the ending is too abrupt and leaves an unsatisfying impression. It would had so much more interesting to see what actually truly happened to all those character after the party at the ending. The ending only leaves us guessing. Sure we mostly know what possibly happens afterward but why not show it in the movie? Those could had been some really powerful and confronting scene's but it sadly now remains nothing more than a missed opportunity.

Of course all of that doesn't automatically mean that this movie is a bad one. It still is good as a raw, honest and truthful portrayal of teenage-life. What makes "Kids" mostly a realistic movie is not only the documentary style of movie making, it's not only the 'acting', it are not only the events occurring in this movie but it is mostly the dialog that does this.

This movie marks the debut for actresses Chloƫ Sevigny and Rosario Dawson who both were really excellent and believable in their roles. Both impressed me. The main character to be honest didn't exactly impressed me and to me it seemed an odd choice to cast Leo Fitzpatrick. He hasn't got the right look and talent for his role, so his character doesn't quite work and is not believable enough.

In short, it works well as a view on the life of teenagers but when it comes to being powerful, controversial, making a statement and leaving a message it isn't good enough. I 'enjoyed' watching this movie and thought it was really good but it simply failed at what it really tried to achieve. It didn't really mattered to me though and I could still recommend this movie to everyone.

It's not a movie that makes you start thinking but it is a movie that you'll remember.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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