August 13, 2015

Prince (2015)

Prince (2015) - Movie Review
Directed by: Sam de Jong
Country: Netherlands

Movie Review: “Prince” starts staunchly as an expressive coming-of-age tale, but finishes as a forgettable, self-content phony. Set in a small neighborhood located in the suburbs of Amsterdam, the drama follows the complicated life of the 17-year-old Dutch-Moroccan, Ayoub (Ayoub Elasri), who lives with his depressed mother and easygoing half-sister. He occasionally meets with his homeless, drug-addicted father, a helpless Moroccan who religiously expects him to bring money for the ‘stuff’. Assuming himself as the man of the house, Ayoun acts sweetly and supportively toward his fragile mom, who never asks questions and keeps looking for the perfect man, and super protective toward his handsome sis, whose excessive freedom leads her to hang out with a trio of bad guys. One of these thugs is Ronny, a violent boaster whose little brother, Franky, is best friends with Ayoub. Despite of participating in some of their dirty work, Ayoub gives rise to mistrust and is treated with contempt; firstly, because he’s seen as an inferior due to his descent, and secondly, because he has a crush on Laura, the girlfriend of one of the bullies. Often humiliated by this small group of gangsters, Ayoub’s best wish would be rapidly building muscles out of his skinny body. As he knows this won’t come true, he comes to the conclusion that his only chance of gaining their respect and conquer Laura’s heart is through the ‘king’ of the thugs, Kalpa (the musician Freddy Tratlehner), a creepy, uncontrolled freak who whimsically runs a sausage factory in his own house and exhibits his over-the-top Lamborghini throughout the streets. One tempestuous night will be enough for the ascension and glorification of Ayoub, crowned ‘prince’ on the first call to work for the untouchable Kalpa. The first-time director, Sam de Jong, has a knack for setting up maniacal moments, combining them with a vigorous score in order to establish stylishly frenzied scenes. The main frustration comes from the film's script, in particular the final act, which abruptly changes the tones from chaotic to cheesy, and the scenarios from rowdy to lenient.

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