(Review originally written at 6 March 2010)

Even though the French ever since the early days of cinema have been great at making dramatic pictures, movies that focus on normal every day people in some not so ordinary and unpleasant situations is something that the Italians, and also to some extend the Germans, have always been much better at. Especially also when it concerns the subject of war.

Well, not that I necessarily see "Jeux interdits" as a war movie, or better said anti-war movie. Even though the story is being set in WW II, it could had also easily been set at a completely different time period and the story and characters could had been kept more or less just the same. It's more a movie that is about loosing things and people close to you and the innocence of children.

The movie most certainly does not feel at all that it all is taking place during WW II. You just never get the sense of any of it and the use of some archive footage of planes flying around and dropping bombs looks simply too ridicules and is more something you expect to see in a bad '50's sci-fi flick. It's perhaps a bit of a missed opportunity all. You feel that they could had used the war-time situations more for the movie its story and drama. It would had perhaps made the movie a more powerful one.

The movie is still involving and compelling though, mostly due to the reason that it is being told from the viewpoint of the really very young children. It's a certain innocence we can all still connect to, after all we have all been young at one point. You also really have to give the young actors in this movie credit for that. So as a movie and also drama it's still a pretty good movie, though when you watch an Italian movie like this you'll see how this movie probably could and also should had been, in order to make the movie a true great and strong timeless classic one.

It's one of those slow moving pictures, that puts the emphasis on the realism. Even though the movie is really short with its 86 minutes or running time, it still feels pretty long and perhaps even overlong due to its style and approach. It could had all worked out well had the story and the characters been a bit more interesting and involving.

I'm of course not hating the movie but it's just that I've seen these type of movies being done so much better, more classy and stylish and more involving.


About Frank Veenstra

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