Nevrland (Review)

Gregor Schmidinger’s debut feature provides a us with a complex and intoxicating mix of themes. Ranging from modern masculinity to mental health and sexuality. While, taking us on a journey into adulthood unlike anything else within the LGBTQ genre. In effect combining stark visual imagery with exceptional sound design in a film that wraps you in the void between reality and fantasy. Creating the aesthetic of entering the very thoughts and emotions of its young male lead, Jakob (Simon Frühwirth).

Nevrland plays with themes of family, suppressed desire and fantasy, while equally never allowing for simple answers to the journey Jakob takes. In turn allowing the audience to decide the outcomes and messages attached to the story. While also weaving sexual desire with scenes of animal slaughter. As the young male body becomes a motif for ‘fresh meat’ in an online community of instant desire and judgement.

Nevrland is ultimately unafraid to challenge concepts of mental health, desire and self identity in a kaleidoscope of powerful imagery. Using its CinemaScope vista and wide dynamic sound to create an inner world of adolescent turmoil. While, enveloping the audience with simple yet stark cinematography. That not only plays to dream like feelings of fear, desire, but also reflects the unconscious need for action.

While the lead performance from newcomer Simon Frühwirth writhes with energy and mystery. Alongside the enigmatic figure of Kristjan Paul Forman. Both men adding to a sense of uncontrollable action as the narrative takes us the edges of the human mind.

This is a film that will undoubtedly divide audiences. But equally provides a fascinating and intoxicating mix of inner thoughts, external pressures and anxieties. In creating what can only be described as truly unique vision of self discovery, mental health and sexuality.

Director: Gregor Schmidinger

Cast: Simon FrühwirthPaul FormanJosef Hader 


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