TIFF 2015 Review: Bang Gang
A semi-nude teen walks in a haze, stumbling through a house as peers are doing drugs, having sex, engaging in such activities as much for themselves as they are for whoever is watching. A raw and voyeuristic look at a new generation of sexually-free and reckless teenagers makes up Bang Gang, a simultaneously sexy and unnerving French film from writer and director Eva Husson.
What of disease and unwanted pregnancies? What of shaming and indiscretion? The consequences come late for a group of high school students who find freedom and fun at a curious young man’s house whose parents have left him alone for a season of excitement and novelty.
The story though focuses on George (Marilyn Lima) who becomes enamoured with Alex, but while their one-on-one time is intimate and seemingly binding, Alex, with his vast empty estate and love of lust, expands his list of partners.
This steamy French film, whose full title is Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story), is like it’s central game that the characters play, more or less a version of truth or dare but without the truth. It’s captivating and horrifying, tempting and tempestuous. It’s central figures are all flawed: on the verge of adulthood, these teens know not of sympathy or compassion.
Perhaps though, they see each other each, careless and seeking attention, and simply up the ante. The central premise is a universal situation where a boy and girl start a relationship, and miscommunication and uncertainty create conflict. But with this generation, where teens shoot and swap illicit photos and video, where gossip spreads like wild fire and once salacious sexual acts have become mundane, no one seems adequately prepared for the world in which they’re trapped.