Consequences is now available to rent, buy or stream.
Darko Stante’s debut feature film is a fierce exploration of repressed sexuality, masculinity, and peer influence. Here his confident and assured arrival as a director offers us a rare exploration of youth culture, sexuality, and crime in Slovenia, dovetailing the classic ‘coming of age’ picture with a deep exploration of a troubled sexual awakening. Stante’s film cleverly weaves a nuanced exploration of young people living on the verges of society with a broader discussion on the social constructs of masculinity in Slovenia. There are times when the designated audience for this discussion is not clear, but the result is nonetheless powerful in its vision and scope.
Andrej (Matej Zemljic) is 18-years-old and lost in a spiralling social life of peer pressure, alcohol and self-isolation. But after his masculinity is challenged and questioned by a girl at a party, Andrej’s behaviour becomes even more volatile, leading to a spell in a correctional institute for young men with behavioural problems. For Andrej’s despairing yet distant parents, the institute offers a potential punishment and cure for their son. However, in reality, the ineffectual and lacklustre environment of the institute only further encourages Andrej’s risk-taking and self-exploration as he meets Zele (Timon Sturbej) and Niko (Gasper Markun).
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Consequences is laced with bold and engaging performances throughout as it attempts to unpick a range of themes from toxic masculinity to peer pressure and gang culture. However, these performances sometimes play a little too heavily on a range of classic stereotypes. This never allows the audience to fully build a deep or emotional connection with the young men at the story’s heart. There is, however, a clear and admirable social commentary on the formation of the gangs and the hidden world of secrets, rules and boundaries in their construction. Equally, Stante manages to wrap into this a fascinating story of sexual awakening in a dangerous world of power play and peer pressure.
Consequences is an assured debut feature which is not afraid to explore the complexity of young male identity and belonging. However, its ending may leave you feeling hollow as time runs out and many themes and questions are left hanging.
Director: Darko Stante
Cast: Matej Zemljic, Timon Sturbej, Gasper Markun