We, based on the novel by Elvis Peeters
8.5 out of 10
This is a very interesting, provocative, often daring, fresh, sometimes peculiar film that explains itself somewhat through the poster that has a group of young men and a woman – some of the protagonists – running naked through a field, near a forest.
It all takes place near the Belgian – Dutch border, which means We are in Flemish territory, where the Dutch are much more popular than the French speaking Walloons is and the film touches in passing on the issue that separates the two communities.
They are in fact so far apart that they may end up separating, following the Czechoslovakian model, wherein one quite small country became two: The Czech Republic and Slovakia.
One of the characters in this Belgian film is van Langendonck, the one who wants to be the mayor of the town and is rather extreme in his views – if I am not mistaken, the banner outside his home, which would be defaced, with a Hitler like moustache added on his portrait, has the Vlaams Blok name on it – advocates the division of the country.
As a visitor to Belgium, I had the chance to see that the Flemish feel that they pay too much tax, contributing to the welfare of the South of the country, where some think that the Walloons, French speaking – and with this and other aspects, rather different culturally – folk do not like to work too hard – they are lazy in other words.
Evidently, extremists everywhere advertise such populism that with Trump has become alas mainstream, with their vocal attacks on immigrants, those of a different color, coming from ‘shit hole countries ‘and which have to stopped with ‘big, beautiful walls’.
However, We is much less about politics, although this plays an important part in the puzzle, and more about youth, excesses, curiosity, pushing across borders, exaggerating, using creativity, but ending with a rather excessive, eventually dangerous, illegal and tragic venture into criminal territory.
In the introducing scenes, We are already sure that this is daring and the audience probably feels that the feature will not end in a mild, happy go lucky manner, with all living happily forever after.
A group of about ten teenagers, boys and girls, enjoy their time in nature, but do not think it is enough to take in the trees, the green scenery and fresh air and therefore play games…
Games People Play is a psychology classic by Eric Berne and the cabaret that takes place near the water has deep implications.
One of the girls has her panties down and we can see her posterior, which is touched by one of the boys with various objects, which she is supposed to identify in a version of hide and seek, or is it another name?
After some innocent approach, in a matter of seconds, the boy takes his shorts and underwear down and the ‘object’ that has to be guessed is his penis, followed immediately by the sexual organs of the others…
Moreover, the girl knows whose penis it is, at least in one instance…
Very provocative and surely a movie that would have been not just censored, but banned outright a few decades ago…come to think of it, this not the fare that they would allow in many cinemas around the world.
This is just the start of the show, for Liesl, the Mastermind and Chief Villain, together with van Langendonck, of the motion picture embarks the group on a pornographic project.
They will have sex in a multitude of positions, contexts, groupings and they would hide their faces with masks, making the endeavor profitable and the jumping point for other enterprises.
The girl agree, somewhat strangely, to have sex with multiple partners, filming the scenes – in the beginning, they express reservations, but only thinking about the future, when they might be identified on the internet, and even this mild opposition would be overcome and films with disclosed identities would be made and used for nefarious purposes.
Following this plunge into the sex industry, they go further and further, asking for money from men, and then blackmailing some of those involved, including the mayor, then using drugs and alcohol to render the some of the girls unconscious and make them have vicious coitus with three men at the same time.
The abuse is increasingly obscene, severe, degrading and ‘whore’ is carved with knives in intimate parts, violence, aggression are used in what becomes a horror story, where others become victims, including a poor dog, which the monster ties to the tracks of the train.
One other dramatic, fatal gesture has the girls walk on a bridge and show their vaginas to the drivers in the cars on the highway which is passing underneath, causing a major carambolage and the death of innocent travelers, including children.