THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN

PRE-SCREENING MUSINGS

Another day, another drama for young adults. You’d want to stay away.

Except, why would one want to ignore Hailee Steinfeld and Woody Harrelson? While the former—also a singer—seems to be making all the right choices as an actor so far, the latter shines even in his weakest projects. Really, as far as casting’s concerned, the makers seem to have it all together.

But then again, this is the directorial debut of writer Kelly Fremon Craig, whose claim to fame (?) is her screenplay to the unnecessary schmaltzy feature-length film Post Grad, which released seven years ago to obvious oblivion.

Which takes us back to square one. The key to watch a film like this, however, is to shatter all our preconceived notions of what a film like this does.

THE MOVIE

Help me, man in the sky!

In the first five minutes of its runtime, The Edge of Seventeen takes viewers through a short tour of the ever-volatile behavioral patterns of Nadine, its protagonist. We witness her childhood, her perception of the world and its residing humanity, and the few people who keep her from being consumed by a complete sense of misanthropy. While its telling is familiarly warm, it’s the raw emotional core Craig exhibits that successfully pushes the right buttons, keeping it from completely devolving into sanitized, predictable territory.

Adults may gain either (or both) of the elements the film quite evidently means to impart them: catharsis through a projection of their own experiences in the past, and a strong behavioral insight, which might be great help in understanding the psychosis of today’s troubled teen.ANKIT OJHA

As viewers perceive life through Nadine’s obnoxious tunnel-vision, they suffer the risk of being reminded of their own years in high school. This isn’t your friendly-neighborhood-PG13-comedy-drama; no. Craig’s latest is tailormade specifically with adults in mind. While it certainly rests within the universe of young adult coming-of-age cinema, its energetic writing and direction tilts more towards throwing light on the very minute psychological tics that form the mind of a teenager at the risk of being disintegrated by her own self-deprecation. Adults may gain either (or both) of the elements the film quite evidently means to impart them: catharsis through a projection of their own experiences in the past, and a strong behavioral insight, which might be great help in understanding the psychosis of today’s troubled teen.

(That doesn’t make this a rulebook of how every human behaves in their growing years; there are many different types of people, as accurately shown within the movie’s many episodes. It does, however, make a strong case for the desperation of control in a life full of chaos and change).

One of the most questionable writing decisions of The Edge of Seventeen, however, comes in the form of the character Woody Harrelson essays—a bluntly honest teacher. While his arc is satisfying, and Harrelson wonderfully plays off the Steinfeld’s strengths (and vice versa), it wouldn’t be unnatural to mull over whether what the teacher says to Nadine would really be passed off without the prospect of a lawsuit or termination looming over his head.

That doesn’t really matter in the long run of things. When viewers witness the strength and conviction Harrelson and Steinfeld display on-screen, they’d be compelled to be convinced of the plausibility of situations happening. This is a beautifully raw, freewheeling film that never shirks from showing how easy it is for someone to be sucked into the abyss of growing up insecure about oneself. Sure, it’s no Thirteen—Catherine Hardwicke’s debut award-winner treads a darker, relatively devastating road to  growing up—but it makes for a solid film that ends with the hope of self-awareness taking us out of the trenches.

Bugger off, mofos!

VERDICT

Craig can wash off the sins of Post Grad. She’s earned it, what with this stereotype-shattering coming of age drama that has quite the conviction of what it is. The Edge of Seventeen is a necessary outlook into the chaotic mind-space of a self-deprecating human being who desperately thirsts for some control in her life. Boasting of one of Hailee Stienfeld’s career-best performances, with a strong supporting turnaround by the ever-reliable Woody Harrelson, the film is energetic, unafraid, and emotionally relevant.

Don’t judge this book by its cover. Watch it instead, because it’s worth every cent.

Watch the trailer here:

About the Author

Ankit Ojha

Facebook

Ambivert. Intermittent cynic. Content creator. New media enthusiast. Binge-watcher. Budding filmmaker.

Star Rating:

Plot

Chronicling the self-destructive misadventures of a 17-year old teenage girl, The Edge of Seventeen takes us through what prompts its protagonists to make the decisions that can only lead to more unraveling and implosion.

Cast

Hailee Steinfeld
Woody Harrelson
Kyra Sedgwick

Director

Kelly Fremon Craig

Rated

R

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Cast Hailee Steinfeld
Woody Harrelson
Kyra Sedgwick
Director Kelly Fremon Craig
Star Rating

THE PLOT

Chronicling the self-destructive misadventures of a 17-year old teenage girl, The Edge of Seventeen takes us through what prompts its protagonists to make the decisions that can only lead to more unraveling and implosion.

PRE-SCREENING MUSINGS

Another day, another drama for young adults. You’d want to stay away.

Except, why would one want to ignore Hailee Steinfeld and Woody Harrelson? While the former—also a singer—seems to be making all the right choices as an actor so far, the latter shines even in his weakest projects. Really, as far as casting’s concerned, the makers seem to have it all together.

But then again, this is the directorial debut of writer Kelly Fremon Craig, whose claim to fame (?) is her screenplay to the unnecessary schmaltzy feature-length film Post Grad, which released seven years ago to obvious oblivion.

Which takes us back to square one. The key to watch a film like this, however, is to shatter all our preconceived notions of what a film like this does.

THE MOVIE

Help me, man in the sky!

In the first five minutes of its runtime, The Edge of Seventeen takes viewers through a short tour of the ever-volatile behavioral patterns of Nadine, its protagonist. We witness her childhood, her perception of the world and its residing humanity, and the few people who keep her from being consumed by a complete sense of misanthropy. While its telling is familiarly warm, it’s the raw emotional core Craig exhibits that successfully pushes the right buttons, keeping it from completely devolving into sanitized, predictable territory.

Adults may gain either (or both) of the elements the film quite evidently means to impart them: catharsis through a projection of their own experiences in the past, and a strong behavioral insight, which might be great help in understanding the psychosis of today’s troubled teen.ANKIT OJHA

As viewers perceive life through Nadine’s obnoxious tunnel-vision, they suffer the risk of being reminded of their own years in high school. This isn’t your friendly-neighborhood-PG13-comedy-drama; no. Craig’s latest is tailormade specifically with adults in mind. While it certainly rests within the universe of young adult coming-of-age cinema, its energetic writing and direction tilts more towards throwing light on the very minute psychological tics that form the mind of a teenager at the risk of being disintegrated by her own self-deprecation. Adults may gain either (or both) of the elements the film quite evidently means to impart them: catharsis through a projection of their own experiences in the past, and a strong behavioral insight, which might be great help in understanding the psychosis of today’s troubled teen.

(That doesn’t make this a rulebook of how every human behaves in their growing years; there are many different types of people, as accurately shown within the movie’s many episodes. It does, however, make a strong case for the desperation of control in a life full of chaos and change).

One of the most questionable writing decisions of The Edge of Seventeen, however, comes in the form of the character Woody Harrelson essays—a bluntly honest teacher. While his arc is satisfying, and Harrelson wonderfully plays off the Steinfeld’s strengths (and vice versa), it wouldn’t be unnatural to mull over whether what the teacher says to Nadine would really be passed off without the prospect of a lawsuit or termination looming over his head.

That doesn’t really matter in the long run of things. When viewers witness the strength and conviction Harrelson and Steinfeld display on-screen, they’d be compelled to be convinced of the plausibility of situations happening. This is a beautifully raw, freewheeling film that never shirks from showing how easy it is for someone to be sucked into the abyss of growing up insecure about oneself. Sure, it’s no Thirteen—Catherine Hardwicke’s debut award-winner treads a darker, relatively devastating road to  growing up—but it makes for a solid film that ends with the hope of self-awareness taking us out of the trenches.

Bugger off, mofos!

VERDICT

Craig can wash off the sins of Post Grad. She’s earned it, what with this stereotype-shattering coming of age drama that has quite the conviction of what it is. The Edge of Seventeen is a necessary outlook into the chaotic mind-space of a self-deprecating human being who desperately thirsts for some control in her life. Boasting of one of Hailee Stienfeld’s career-best performances, with a strong supporting turnaround by the ever-reliable Woody Harrelson, the film is energetic, unafraid, and emotionally relevant.

Don’t judge this book by its cover. Watch it instead, because it’s worth every cent.

Watch trailer here:

About the Author

Ankit Ojha

Facebook

Ambivert. Intermittent cynic. Content creator. New media enthusiast. Binge-watcher. Budding filmmaker.

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