Review: Young & Wild – Joven y alocada (2012)

Young & Wild – Joven y alocada (2012)

Directed by: Marialy Rivas | 96 minutes | drama | Actors: Alicia Rodríguez, Aline Küppenheim, María Gracia Omegna, Felipe Pinto, Alejandro Goic, Ingrid Isensee, Pablo Krögh, Hernán Lacalle, Andrea García-Huidobro, Camila Hirane, Luis Gnecco, Javiera Mena, Catalina Saavedra

‘Young & Wild’ is the name of the debut film by Chilean Marialy Rivas. It is also the name of the blog of the grumpy beauty Daniela, protagonist of this film. Unbeknownst to her mother, this seventeen-year-old schoolgirl writes about her sexual adventures and about her difficult relationship with the sectarian religious community in which she lives. To complicate matters, Daniela finds out that she likes bacon as well as tofu, which in her blogging idiom means that she likes both men and women.

‘Young & Wild’ is a film that is difficult to categorize. There’s a lot of humor in it, especially what Daniela reports on her blog about the punishment hanging over her head: embarkation to Ecuador to work in the mission. But ‘Young & Wild’ is not a comedy. The style is too distant for a drama and the humor gets in the way. An arthouse movie lacks seriousness and vision, but for a popcorn movie there is too much sex and too little plot.

That indeterminacy is more one of the charms of ‘Young & Wild’ than a downside. Less suitable is the lack of depth. Daniela will eventually have to choose between emotionally draining freedom or the boring but safe environment of the church. Or embarkation to Ecuador, that is also possible. Such a superficial conclusion doesn’t justify the hour and a half of blogger talk and happy sex we’ve put into it.

The style of ‘Young & Wild’ is in line with the title. The visuals are lively, youthful and colourful. We regularly see the texts that our heroine types on her blog against a pink background, preceded by a Bible quote. Then we see webcams of young people who respond to her texts. Sometimes with useful advice, often with raunchy invitations. Using these kinds of trendy images is risky as they tend to become outdated quickly.

In short, ‘Young & Wild’ is a debut that you enjoy sitting out and reviewing with less pleasure. The film is elusive, but at the same time has too little weight to dwell on that elusiveness for a long time. A cautious recommendation for those who love beautiful people, youthful humor and a hip style. If you want more depth, you can sleep on it.

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