Teenagers make The Point 

Non-pro teens turn in pro performance

What: The Point

When: Saturday, Dec. 2, 1:15 p.m.

Where: Village 8 Cinemas

Reviewed by Vivian Moreau

A mix of docu-drama and who done it, The Point features a dual purpose ensemble cast of sparky teenagers with no acting experience that nevertheless turn out believable performances as urban ghetto kids trying to survive while solving a mystery.

If that isn’t enough the cast also contributed their real life stories to the fodder that Montreal indie filmmaker Joshua Dorsey and co-writers incorporated into the script.

Being a teenager is never easy — it’s even tougher when you live in a down and out neighbourhood morphing upscale. And when one of your own, a talented graffiti artist is missing, everyone is understandably a little edgy and needing to cut loose, which is what these Point St. Charles kids are planning to do, at a house party where the unsuspecting single mom is away for the night.

Complications abound when the crowd’s 13-year-old pot dealer gets beat up by Ashley, an angry girl chased away from the party by another girl, Tanya, who dared her boyfriend to kiss Ashley during truth or dare and then got annoyed when he complied.

Two young men land in the party, worried about their third sidekick who is worried he pegged the wrong man who may or may not have offed the missing girl artist, Kyra. And the girl who told her boyfriend to kiss the girl who is the sister of one of four boys wandering around town philosophizing about life, rats, and honour, well, she’s pregnant.

Confused? All becomes clear in this patchwork quilt of a film that shouldn’t work but does with its weave of girl fights, bad parents, hot-tempered cops, house party scenes, and vomit.

The cast is refreshing in their awkwardness and insight, which could be on camera newbieness or brilliant clarities of understanding.

Taylor is the strikingly beautiful depanneur clerk who can’t get up the nerve to say hello to Oath, Kyra’s mourning boyfriend. Taylor’s gaze as she watches Oath leave the corner store speaks to all those moments we’ve let slip away.

Also in the depanneur, the four philosophers exchange good-natured insults as one of them picks out something to buy.

“Those are Christmas lights!”

“Yea, so?”

“Aren’t you Jewish?”

“Yea, and you’ve got a rat on your shoulder, so what’s your point?”

“Sorry, let’s hug and make up.”

“We could just share an awkward smile.”

Which they do, to the snorting derision of their compadres.

Things heat up after the boys stumble across Julian’s stash that he’s dropped in an effort to escape his gangster bosses since Ashley ripped off his cash after she punched him out. The boys, joined by a confused Oath, end up in Kyra’s post-mortem trackside gallery, in which Julian is hiding and a creepy sunglasses-at-night adult is also lurking.

Adults don’t fare well in this film, especially parents taking out their own frustrations on their kids. But cops do come in handy for bagging bad guys and the kids are strong, listening to and supporting each other, banding together and growing up.

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