NOTHING is a new Danish coming-of-age thriller (org. title Intet) that escalates in very serious ways. All key characters are 8th graders, which is a crazy time for most. Screened at Fantastic Fest 2022. Read our full Nothing movie review here!
NOTHING is a coming-of-age thriller from Denmark (org. title Intet) which is currently screening at Fantastic Fest 2022. It’s probably a movie that will be very difficult to watch for many – for a myriad of reasons. For me, I hate both peer pressure and animals being hurt.
Others will find it difficult to watch children act out in this manner. Kids can be as sweet and kind as they can be cruel. In this movie, we see a bit of everything. And yes, this is definitely a movie that should make you think. Both about your own life and the world we’re bringing kids up in right now.
Continue reading our Nothing movie review below.
A touch of Lord of the Flies but in your own backyard
Let’s start with one big disclaimer: If you think the kids in Nothing are just weird and psychotic, then you either don’t remember your own childhood or you’re terribly naïve. All the key characters in this story are 8th graders which means they’re leaving childhood and childish ways behind and are at the mercy of emerging hormones.
Yes, it is a crazy time for most. There’s peer pressure, bullying (though not much, to be fair), and the complete lack of understanding consequences.
But there is also a grotesque lack of attention from adults. Everyone is so wrapped up in their own dreams or dramas that their kids are left to themselves a lot. Too much. Again, they are 8th graders and can do most things on their own. So, the parents are busy with their own agendas – primarily keeping up appearances!
Basically, these 8th graders want to find meaning in something. Anything. So, they try to find things that matter to them and bring them to the group. Quickly, this turns into someone else deciding what matters and that is when things escalate. A pet matters to one person, their long hair to another, a dead sibling to yet someone else.
Will nobody stand up for what’s right?!
The movie plays out in a small town in Denmark, so the kids can walk or bike wherever they need to go. And since the adults aren’t very forthcoming with advice or restrictions, these kids make up their own rules. In other words; things escalate very quickly!
On a personal level, I just find it hard to believe that none of these kids felt safe or strong enough to say “Enough!”. Or had parents or even older siblings they could have reached out to. Of course, that would have made for a shorter and simpler story that would never have gotten so out of hand.
So, for the purpose of the core plot, I can understand it. In terms of realism; it would not have gotten that far with so many kids that have different boundaries. However, I do appreciate that a point is made to show that the adults are far too busy with their own lives, to really pay attention.
That part does give this storyline room to work better despite the wild escalations.
Watch Nothing when you get the chance!
Trine Piil Christensen and Seamus McNally are the co-directors of this coming-of-age thriller with a plot that escalates quickly and in wild ways. It’s based on a novel by Janne Teller and the screenplay is by Trine Piil Christensen who previously made Max (2000) starring Sidse Babett Knudsen.
I do have an issue with the fact that no one seems to really object or refuse to participate. I would definitely have spoken up when it comes to hurting animals or people. Yes, also in the 8th grade. Hell, in any grade! In Nothing, nobody seems to have this sort of inner moral compass.
And really, this is probably part of the core message; What are we instilling (or not) in kids these days? Watch Nothing to find out just how their inner moral compass works! It’s a creepy experience, but one that matters. The runtime is just 87 minutes, so it doesn’t drag out for long and is rather tight in its storytelling.
Nothing (org. title Intet) is screening at Fantastic Fest 2022.
Directors: Trine Piil & Seamus McNally
Script: Trine Piil Christensen
Stars: Vivelill Søgaard Holm, Maya Louise Skipper Gonzales, Harald Kaiser Hermann, Sigurd Philip Dalgas, Ellen Fensbo, Theodor Philip MacDonald, Bobby Antonio Hancke Rosado, Clara Dragsted Hansen, Elias Amati Aagesen, Arien Alexander Takiar, Frederic Linde-Fleron, Peter Gantzler, Paw Henriksen, Claus Riis Østergaard, Marie Louise Wille
In NOTHING, the kids are not all right. A seventh-grade boy has an existential crisis, decides that everything in life is purposeless, and climbs up a tree. His classmates try everything to get him down, including pelting him with rocks, but with no success.
As his outlook on life slowly becomes contagious, his classmates create a “heap of meaning” to prove him wrong, each offering sacrifices that have deep personal meaning to them. It starts off with superficial donations — a pair of shoes, a fishing rod, assorted teenage knickknacks — but soon the sacrifices take a more demanding and far darker turn.
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