Close Movie Review

Close movie poster

Two teenage boys are inseparable—until classmates innocently suggest their friendship may be something more—in the tragically engaging Close. A movie that doesn’t quite stick the landing, it is nonetheless a captivating drama featuring an especially strong performance by Eden Dambrine.

What is so impressive about Dambrine is his ability to convey so much without saying a word, and yet I wouldn’t say his character wears his emotions. His face, his eyes, are full of life, and yet they belie a secret and true intentions. He’s a walking conflict, which is what makes him so captivating a character.

Close, directed by Lukas Dhont, feeds off its stars’ confusing charisma. The movie is less about what happened than why it happened, and even then the why is obfuscated by emotions not easily explained or interpreted. Dhont, who also co-wrote the film, seems disinterested in giving clear answers, which ultimately proves frustrating, and he doesn’t give us enough time with Rémi (also played exceptionally well by Gustav De Waele) to really understand what was going on in the boy’s mind. But that’s also the point. You don’t know. We don’t know.

Close offers great performances set against an intriguing drama. More about the journey than the destination, Close falls short of greatness—but comes close enough to it and times to make it more than worth a watch.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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