Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

A variation on the rites-of-passage theme would include same sex experimentation, something boarding school boys understand only too well. This time, it's a Spanish holiday affair, involving virginal teenagers, one of whom has a crush on his best friend.

When Dani's parents go away for a couple of weeks in the middle of summer, Nico moves in for fun times at the beach, chatting up girls and, maybe, getting lucky, or, at least, discovering the secrets of the all night snog. Their enthusiasm outstrips their experience. What is this thing called love? They are at the age when sex is constantly on their minds and yet they are not entirely sure what to do about it.

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They sleep together out of habit and engage in masturbatory games. Dani falls for Nico, who is much more interested in Elena, one of Dani's acquaintances from the year before. The emotional combination becomes highly charged, with Nico pretending not to notice what Dani is feeling and Dani attempting a date rape on Elena's friend after spiking her drink with mashed up pills.

Debut director Cesc Gay avoids American Pie stupidity and the over-sensitive gay pride approach. He is very good at portraying confusion as a learning curve, rather than a banana skin. Jordi Vilches, as Nico, captures the optimistic, ever hopeful chancer, who'll try anything once. His personality shines through. Fernando Ramallo, as Dani, is more introspective.

Far from being a love story, Krampack is a journey of discovery. At 15, the whole world is your oyster, but what if you can't open it? The message of the film is that nothing is finite, anything is possible and sex is not as simple as it looks.

Reviewed on: 02 Oct 2003
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Spanish teenage rites-of-passage summer holiday discovery of sexuality.
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Director: Cesc Gay

Writer: Cesc Gay, Tomas Aragay

Starring: Fernando Ramallo, Jordi Vilches, Marieta Orozco, Esther Nubiola, Cisco Amado

Year: 2000

Runtime: 89 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: Spain


EIFF 2000

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