Wasted on the Young (2010) Poster

(I) (2010)

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7/10
Intense and thought provoking
roffma15 March 2011
Wasted on the Young is an intense movie in the vein of Animal Kingdom but with a subject matter most similar to Brick. It is well crafted and the production value seems high for the tight budget they were undoubtedly restricted to.

The film is about a group of young people in an Australian private school whose lives are changed due to a horrific event that takes place at a wild party at the "alpha male" of the school's house. It is a very intense and engaging movie but unfortunately the ending was a bit of a let down and didn't really fit with the rest of the film.

The absence of any adult or authority figures in the movie is telling and the interaction between the perpetrators and victims is at times very disturbing.

It is a very interesting movie and it is a shame the ending wasn't as good as I hoped it would be but it well worth spending the time and money to see this film.
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6/10
Where it falters is in its lack of moderation. Lucas doesn't believe in any. His film travels from one extreme to another
Likes_Ninjas902 February 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Zack (Alex Russell) and Darren (Oliver Ackland) are stepbrothers who are living under the same luxurious roof together while their parents are away. Both boys are on the high school swimming team but Zack is certified as the captain. He's involved with drugs and throwing parties though and is made untouchable by his reputation and his two friends who act like standover men. Darren is far more withdrawn. He spends most of his time studying and playing games but also manages to catch the eye of Xandrie (Adelaide Clemens). She's set to meet him at a party but he arrives late and can't find her. A jealous girl thinks that Xandrie is going to sleep with Zack so she spikes her drink and leaves her at the mercy of Zack and his goons. She is assaulted and left for dead on a beach. With the weight of guilt on his shoulders for ignoring Xandrie, Darren sets out to find out the truth, firstly consulting a security recording of the night.

I admire the courage of the Australian film industry, specifically its uncompromised approach in dealing with important social issues. People who value cinema for safe, populist entertainment often sneer at these gritty and challenging films. As such, they regular fail to excite the box office and are viewed foolishly as artistically meritless. But as important as it is for a film to challenge the realities of our society, there is fine line between a well researched critique of an issue, like in Blessed and The Combination and cheap sensationalism and finger pointing. Writer and director Ben C. Lucas cannot find the balance. There's a nastiness running all throughout his film. It's deliberately claustrophobic, filmed with harsh, dark textures and cold steel. It's effective in unsettling us through its look, its heavy ambient sound effects and clever structure too. It begins in medias res, with Xandrie's body on the beach and then goes back in time to work up to the crime. Where it falters is in its lack of moderation. Lucas doesn't believe in any. His film travels from one extreme to another, solely to inflate the drama and reinforce parents' preconceived ideas about their children.

Lucas likes to paint broad strokes and is for one blindly nihilistic in his outlook of multimedia. The social networking sites and the text messaging shown in the film regularly lead to miscommunication and rumour. The convenience and usefulness of the technology feels entirely overshadowed and overlooked. Even the possible video evidence of the crime takes a backseat to overly dramatic confrontations. Similarly, teenagers might not be the most pleasant people but there are very few who are completely irredeemable. Yet Lucas tries his best to make us think so about a number of his characters. There's a lot of mean- spirited behaviour, coarse dialogue and the needlessly excessive violence. At the beginning of a film a boy asks Zack about the party to which he responds in asking if he's looking for a corner to blow him. The boy is then punched in the face, without consequence. For whatever reason, a freakish red haired kid is also shown sending pictures of his penis to girls at school. There are multiple public beatings in this film too, with people punched and cracked over the head with bottles, a school shooting and even a more implied torture scene. It's gratuitous, not insightful, because these scenes exist only to be climactic, rather than having a willingness to explore deeper psychological experiences.

These problems are frustrating because glimpses of more rounded and developed characters are occasionally visible. Darren is understandably driven by guilt, even if Ackland can't take us to the right emotional levels, beyond his hollow eyes. Russell also makes Zack a more interesting baddie, even if he is a little heavy handed. Zack's a sport jock, but a logical one and uses common sense to distance himself from the chaos. If only Lucas didn't undermine an interesting trait straight after Zack talks himself out of a situation with a panic attack. It weakens our belief in his confidence. Clemens impressed me the most. With limited on screen time she's appropriately more conscious about the situation than anyone else and is as such, more natural, human and touching. The lack of adult characters is still a big pitfall. It's meant to ride the metaphor that these kids have no one to answer to. But their omission is never properly explained and it allows Lucas to distance them from a lot of the blame. Like so much of the film, it just makes us wonder why he's so strictly negative about today's youth.
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6/10
Not Quite A Waste
Jonathon_Natsis12 March 2011
In a word: intriguing. In a few more, an ardent revenge film that shows substance and style in some areas, but appears to have bitten off more than it can chew in others. This little-known Australian film continues to follow the trend in the local film industry. That is, for every Kenny and Kings Of Mykonos crowd-pleaser released, many more dark and brutal Aussie films fall by the wayside only to be discovered by a handful of people each time, with Animal Kingdom being a noted exception.

The film follows Darren (Oliver Ackland), a nice-enough high schooler who spends most of his time around computers and homework. He is the polar opposite of stepbrother Zack (Alex Russell), whose priority is maintaining a reputation as Mr. Popular. Things take a sinister turn when the shy Xandrie (Adelaide Clemens, a dead ringer for Michelle Williams) is invited to one of Zack's house parties and goes missing for almost a week afterwards. By the time she returns, the school is rife with rumours surrounding her disappearance, and Darren, suspecting his stepbrother and his nasty bunch of friends, decides to find out the truth and punish those responsible.

As mentioned, cinematic style is a big part of Wasted On The Young, and may well be the film's highlight. Unique editing and camera-work during the house party scenes result in an indulgent, but not stereotypical, world that these kids inhabit. It's certainly no accident that the house used is an extremely modern one, full of glass corridors, open spaces and hidden rooms that allow the camera to almost become another character.

Wasted On The Young is rife with themes relevant to today's social landscape. Positively, these themes keep from interrupting each other because of the way they are presented one after the other, compounding the film's message. While it starts out as a critique of social networking, it soon becomes more about what our society may be reduced to in the absence of all authority, where the strong rule and the weak have no freedom. As if that wasn't intense enough, it goes on to pose a more challenging question: What happens when the weak decide they've had enough?

If that sounds like a badly concealed ad, I'll stop now. Because for all the thought-provoking ideas being presented, none of them are really driven home enough to make one think 'yes, that's the message the movie is trying to make.' The fact that it is set in a private school leads to a lack of realism regarding the whole 'no authority' angle, but once you make the connection that the setting only exists to support the metaphor, the film becomes a little more immersive. Other moments, including the climax, completely remove the moderation and consistency from a film that had remained fairly grounded in believability until that point.

The film could have dropped below the ninety-minute mark by cutting out a lot of gratuitous and unnecessary fluff during the Third Act. Fights and arguments among secondary characters were clearly included to both resolve character arcs and build the severity of the climax, but all they end up doing is ruining the pace and prolonging what has become a forgone conclusion by this point.

Nonetheless, in a choice simply between 'go' and 'don't go', I say 'go', if for no other reason than to make up your own mind on this ambitious endeavour.

*There's nothing I love more than a bit of feedback, good or bad. So drop me a line on jnatsis@iprimus.com.au and let me know what you thought of my review.*
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10/10
Powerful and provocative social commentary. A jewel in the Aussie film crown.
aiturnizzle20 September 2010
I was given the opportunity to watch this film as a part of a special screening and focus group session. I didn't read up on the plot beforehand, but was given the general gist of it by my cousin, who somehow managed to turn it into Swimfan #2. Thankfully, he had no idea what he was on about. This film is anything but an ostentatious Hollywood slasher, and is every bit an indication of top-quality Australian cinema.

I don't usually give films 10/10 ratings as i am extremely picky about whose praises i sing, but this one went above and beyond any expectations i had. The opening sequence reeled me in hook, line and sinker; and i was mesmerised until well after the credits began to roll.

The cinematography is incredible. The production values seemed very high (whether this is the case or not, i am unsure) and there are some expertly filmed and executed scenes. The use of special effects to signal dream sequences and the omission of kitschy fogged lenses during flashbacks (colour saturation was changed instead) make this a visually stunning film.

The soundtrack also plays into the script exceedingly well, swelling into an overbearing presence during scenes to build tension and confusion, and being understated in others which develops a foreboding atmosphere.

The storyline reads like a clichéd teen flick that one expects will try too hard and not hit the mark, but the script development, along the performances of Alex Russell, Oliver Ackland, TJ Power and Adelaide Clemens ensures that this film achieves its purpose. It doesn't just tell a story, it involves you in the story and it leaves you questioning not only the villains doing wrong, but the heroes and their idea of "right". The film does an incredible job highlighting the incidence of school bullying and the environment that it occurs in as well as commenting on youth culture in general.

Although the film is set in an Australian high school, and based on final year students (~17/18 years of age), i fear many individuals in the target audience might miss out on the chance to watch this brilliant film; either through choice or lack of exposure. I feel this film would be incredibly useful if included in high school English curriculum as it would allow the teens it is aimed at a chance to watch the film, but also walk through all the issues and themes it raises.

This is, in short, a brilliant film. It ticked all the boxes for me and i strongly recommend this to anyone who enjoys powerful, provocative and intelligent films.
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9/10
A gripping and disturbing experience
tegoodfellow14 June 2010
(Full disclosure: I am acquainted with director Ben C Lucas)

I saw Wasted on the Young at its world premiere at the Sydney Film Festival,and it got a strong reaction from the audience. I'm not sure I can say we enjoyed it, because it is a disturbing film in many ways, but it was certainly a highly impressive debut from a rookie team.

A plot synopsis will make it sound like a generic high school movie; cool kids bullying uncool kids, drug-fuelled parties and so on. Halfway through, though, an event occurs which takes us into altogether darker territory and what the director terms "a moral fable".

Technically, the film has many virtues. The bleached-out cinematography, the strikingly shot swimming pool sequences and the nightmarish music/sound design during the party scenes all serve the story well, and are far more ambitious than most Australian movies.

Wasted on the Young shows high school as a horrifying and hermetically sealed environment (I don't think we see any parents or teachers at all), and a cast headed by the impressive Oliver Ackland really convey the tension and conflict of the story.
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10/10
excellent film
belro1912 September 2010
Saw this at the Toronto International Film Festival. Thought it was stunning. A brilliant piece of film making. The story itself was compelling but also told in a way that did not reveal or signal. The use of dream sequences and flashbacks was great. The visuals were also outstanding, the underwater shots for me were unique. The large themes that were dealt with beyond the simple narrative made this film worth watching and it was done in a way that didn't hit you over the head. The music used also contributed greatly to the mood of the film. The choice to not show any adults, I recall only one teacher's voice but no shot of the teacher for example gave the film the Lord Of The Flies feel it needed to present this unique society which was an allegory for society at large. But all this done inside a suspenseful telling of a story that worked at the narrative level. Some very memorable line and scenes from this film. Loved it.
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9/10
Much more than a compelling thriller
jo-deligeorges27 February 2011
It's easy to see Ben C. Lucas' first feature, Wasted on the Young, simply as a stylishly directed teen melodrama on steroids and cocaine. In the film, the romance developing between the lovely-but-sassy Xandri (Adelaide Clemens) and the cool-but-geeky Darren (Oliver Ackland) is brutally thwarted by an all-powerful clique of popular kids led by Darren's step-brother Zack (Alex Russell). It is set mostly in either sleek school grounds or drug-fuelled parties, but there is not a school teacher or parent in sight. Early hints of impending violence are realized at a party at Darren and Zack's house, during which tech-savvy Darren prefers to stay upstairs in his room playing violent video games and chatting online, despite Xandri's text messages enticing him to join her. In the wake of the incident that occurs in Darren's absence, the tension and violence rise quickly to a fever pitch, as the popular clique uses technologically enhanced peer group manipulation to suppress their crime, and their victims seek their own technologically enhanced revenge. The twists and turns along the way artfully maintain the tension as the plot unwinds to its conclusion, and the young cast all give great performances, especially the menacing Alex Russell. As a straightforward thriller, the film also offers some easy morals, though the finger wags have been modernized to the era of social networking and cyber bullying.

But although it's possible to watch Wasted on the Young as just a teen-thriller, there is much more to get out of it. For instance, a more interesting way to watch Wasted is as fantasy. Or rather, twin fantasies represented by the two main characters, step-brothers Darren and Zack. One, Zack's, is the fantasy of ultimate popularity, freedom from authority and unrestrained hedonism. The parties in the film may seem unrealistic, the members of the popular clique may be one-dimensional and the power they wield, and the violence with which they wield it, may sometimes be absurd. But that is the point of a fantasy. The other fantasy, Darren's, is the dream of a humiliating and violent revenge shared by anyone who has been victimized by the powerful. Where you find Zack's fantasy, you also find Darren's.

These are common fantasies and the cinema has a long history of indulging them. Revenge fantasies in particular are a favourite of action films, thrillers and, especially, teen films. More and more, our wider culture also indulges Zack's fantasy. The technologies through which we increasingly communicate encourage vapid interactions and the quest for popularity and acceptance — as Zadie Smith recently pointed out, it's not hard to see that Facebook was dreamt up by a 19 year old male. And reality TV shows, perhaps the most Orwellian concept ever coined, indulge our love of popularity contests and our desire to eliminate the unwanted by the sheer force of popular opinion. This sort of fantasy world is the one the characters in Wasted on the Young seem to inhabit, and there are plenty of suggestions that this is what Lucas had in mind.

Seen in this light, Wasted takes just the form it should. The fancy-editing, ultra-slick production and relentless pace make for just the sort of popular entertainment we should think about more critically. It's exaggerated elements — like the violence and drug-taking — and some strange plot features (including the absence of adult interference) are weirdnesses that point to the fact that we're in the realm of wish fulfilment and nightmares. The film's saturation with social networking tools and recording devices isn't a transient comment about those particular technologies, soon to be outdated, but a more lasting observation on how the technologies we use consolidate particular ways of interacting with each other. And while on the level of a thriller the ending may seem over-the-top, it actually works to remind us of the sorts of entertainments we're so routinely offered. In this way it's not unlike the strange, post-climactic scenes of Taxi Driver. The film takes on the form of the fantasy it wants us to think about.

As a film highlighting our various fantasies and the way we, as a culture, indulge them in the cinema and elsewhere, Wasted is by no means unique. The most recent predecessor I can think of is Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds, in which we are offered the ultimate revenge tale — obliterating bastard Nazi's! And in some ways there are parallels between the two films, since Wasted so deliberately recalls so many films, especially cult teen flicks (think Heathers and Donnie Darko to name just two). But Lucas takes the idea in new and interesting directions and uses a tense thriller as his vehicle. It's fantastic to see an Australian film, a Western Australian film in fact, that aims so high and achieves so much.

As a teen thriller, Wasted is genuinely compelling, but if that is the only way it is received then it really will be wasted on the young.
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5/10
The ultimate 5
cppguy26 June 2013
I found it tough to rate this movie. First off, the acting and cinematography are great. The plot idea is superb. There are some great political and social overtones. (Kudos to the reviewer who said this was "Lord of the Flies meets Facebook." That's a great analogy.) It's clear that this is a "Peanuts" world where adults are out there somewhere, but can't be seen or heard. However, if the writers wanted to go that direction, they can't create a world with adults that's totally without them. In Golding's vision, the adults were simply not present. In this world, the adults are there, but totally inert. This ruins the movie in a few ways. I won't give away plot elements here, but there's a fight in the film. It's preceded by a chase through library, halls, classrooms, etc. and students pour out of those rooms. The fight continues unabated until one of the protagonists is defeated and hauled off. Yet no teacher intervenes when students abandon classrooms; nobody appears to halt the fight, help the injured or otherwise restore order. This is rubbish and the plot point could have been written many other ways to accomplish the same purpose.

I'm not giving a rating below 5 because it's not that bad. However, the basic plot and social situations exploited in this film had huge potential... potential I'd have given a 9-10 rating for... yet somehow flopped. Maybe in 10-20 years someone will give another go at this plot. In the meantime, only watch it if your current string of movies-to-see lacks better rated movies.
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5/10
Not completely without it's merits but in the end a missed opportunity
Seth_Rogue_One17 October 2015
I struggled watching this a couple times because I hated 95% of the main cast who are all more or less genuinely terrible people and this is obvious from the very start.

The movie deals with bullying and peer-pressure and the characters all felt rather real, plenty of similar characters from my old school for instance, and perhaps that is why it was initially hard for me to watch.

I won't spoil it but the script could have been rather memorable if it hadn't ended up taking a safer route in the end where it should have just hit the gas pedals and made more of an impact but instead it ended up taking a bit of a detour.

Visually it's very much on point though, has some gorgeous scenery and the acting is stellar as well, kind of a 'feel bad'-movie though and yeah it didn't deliver enough in the end for me not to feel that there was an opportunity to do something above average, but the director and script-writer missed it, leaving you a bit unsatisfied.
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a film about democracy - real democracy!
karlericsson24 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I cannot give this film a full 10 because it explains certain things too much and other things too little.

Before I go on, I want to disclose a further warning. This review does not only contain spoilers but indeed wishes to discuss the final spoiler, which elevates this film from teenage fluff to meaningful cinema.

Seen as the ending of thriller movie, the end of this film is really not all that exiting. It's not really a whodunit that is being disclosed if you tell about the end. However, if you do not consider the end for spoiler reasons, then any review of this film will be beside the point and meaningless just like it would be meaningless to discuss "The Bicycle Thief" without mentioning the slapping of the father in the end of that film.

Furthermore, for reasons that I stated above which gave this film only seven stars, I'm not totally sure that my interpretation of the film is the correct one, although I have some pretty significant details to point out that make my interpretation plausible.

First of all, there is this total omitting of grown-ups in the film, which is so extreme that it cannot be coincidental. This makes it plausible that the film, at least in part, is an allegory for society as a whole reduced to the more manageable world of teenagers, which contains the embryo of all that will later play out in grown-up everyday society as we know it. What happens in this teenager-world should therefore not be confined to this world alone as it would be if this was a film, which only dealt with teenage-problems. The reluctance that is felt at the other end of the line, when the girl phones one of her parents wanting to be picked up in the wilderness where she was dumped after she was raped, is not the reluctance of that parent really - it is much more the reluctance of society to deal with a problem that, in truth, that society bears the responsibility for. Likewise, Zack, the villain, is obviously not treated very harshly by the headmaster he is called to (not shown) and we can assume that the society (headmaster) in which Zack lives appreciates him as a proper lackey only doing what he is supposed to be doing. In fact it becomes more and more clear as the film moves along, that Zack is the embodiment of the status quo in present society, raping, killing and lying his way though life as in the end when he states to the populace, like any true politician, that he only did what he could do for the poor troubled girl and cannot be blamed for her confusion.

And now we come to the final scene in this film, where my interpretation of it may seem fantastic and round the bend, wore it not for some details, that I now immediately want to point out before disappearing too far into the rabbit-hole.

In the messages sent to the mobile-phones the text is clearly displayed more than once stating "You can stop this now". This indicates that all receiving that message just have to push a button to stop the execution that will otherwise follow. The decision not to push the button must therefore be interpreted as an unanimous decision. Apparently this message is sent to bystanders of the procedures going on and not to principal players involved in the drama (about this I am however not quite sure). These uninvolved bystanders could be said to be on the same level as the public viewing the film.

In the final scene, the hero points out that his killing of the fiend would just be like killing a momentary symptom of the malady in society and that he has another idea in store for us. He realizes that the decision must be made by the public should it have any effect on the malady itself. The public must decide if it is to loose the captain of the swimming-team and the national vanity coupled to that loss or loose the possibility for justice instead. In other words: Only if the public is prepared to loose its idiotic common vanity can it also hope to accomplish justice.

Those are indeed strong statements belonging in a film of quite a different standard than a teenage-flick. To make sure this is not a statement for or against capital punishment. In this scene Zack is no longer a person to be executed but the malady itself that can only be overcome by loosing vanity.

Had all this been a little clearer, then we would have had a milestone of a film. However, as things are now, we would maybe then have had no film at all. Therefore this is a solid seven stars that however becomes a solid ten stars if many interpret this film as I just did.

Incidentally, if the director of this film reads this review, would he then please let me know if I was totally wrong with my interpretation or if I hit the bulls-eye.
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8/10
Intelligent and thought provoking....
ken_martin-932-4301068 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
not your typical slash and burn revenge movie. although the ending leaves the viewer hanging (how dearly we want to see the villains squirm some more), it wouldn't have been as effective. prevalent in any society are bullies and the people who let them get away with it. what the movie aims to impart is that we can do something about it. I could understand why the female protagonist felt so helpless, its because of the fact that society will tend to put the blame on her for putting herself in that position in the first place. and she knew that. i've read most victims of rape will not report it to the police for fear that no one will believe them. suffice it to say that i like how it turned out in the end. even if it took me a few minutes to do so:) we see the male protagonist leaving it up to general consensus on who will be shot dead, him or hes step-brother. and i guess humanity didn't loose its innate sense of justice and choose well..
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8/10
Great Film from another Australian Talent
luke-eberhardt29 March 2011
Stylistic Australian thriller of riveting and thought provoking atmosphere. This is original enough to keep me on the edge of my seat, and once again its another extraordinary debut for an Australian talent. Its also great to see an unknown cast break out of this, performances are great from Oliver Aukland and Adelaide Clemens. Its also scary to see in this teen world where Gen Y Kids interact in their world that adults know little or nothing about, you would then ask the question are they safe or not, and it gives them concern if their not. Visually impressive, it looks gentle on the outside but dark and keep pushing the boundaries to each level. After watching this I almost feel this could definitely use another viewing.
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1/10
Wasted on Everybody!
rawiri4226 March 2013
If I were a shooting enthusiast, this DVD would be quite useful as a skeet! As it is, I'm not a shooter and so the only other use I can think of for the disc is to use it to make a mobile where it will reflect all the colours of the spectrum and, maybe, give some pleasure - because, as a movie, it sure as hell doesn't give any!

I have often thought that I would like to visit Perth in Western Australia but, after wasting over an hour-and-a-half on this, I'm not so sure. It seems that there are no adults there - just mindless teenage morons who hold parties in mega-expensive houses and attend a school where there are no teachers and the haves enjoy bullying the have-nots. (I think - because, to be honest, I have no idea what was going on most of the time!). I have given this movie 1 point only because I liked Adelaide Clemens and hope that she hasn't totally ruined her prospects by allowing herself to be used in this load of rubbish.

Another reviewer has described this as Lord of the Flies with SMS and, whilst that is quite succinct, I think it does Lord of the Flies no favours because to even mention both film in the same breath is insulting!

This has to be the worst film I have seen since I-don't-know-when. Rather than watch it, take up shooting or go and make yourself a cool mobile!
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3/10
Lord of the Flies meets Facebook?
paq55287 August 2011
Australia has no adults nor authorities. This is a movie that at any time could have a realistic plot with the addition of post-teenage rationalism, but instead we are stuck with hormones and sterile egos.

Is this what happens when there are no adults, no teachers, no authority figures, no police, no post-pubescent neighbors observing the self-servient and egotistical world of over-indulged, extremely privileged teens? This is Lord of the Flies redone with text messages. There is really no creativity here, no reality. The movie pits the brainiacs versus the jocks; the entitled versus the proletariat.

Kudos to the acting skills of several of the members and the film crew did a good job. It's the plot that disappoints. There is no higher meaning, no layers to scrape away and discuss after the credits roll. This movie is obvious, superficial, and without redemption.

Save time and instead of watching this, read something.
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2/10
Vapid Screenplay. Vacuous Structure. Meaningless & Confused Drivel Dressed With Style
supadude200423 July 2011
Here is an absolutely useless, waste of a time type of movie that starts off trying to be too cool for school and ends up being so disengagingly meaningless that just getting from one minute to the next, in this movie, was a struggle. This is a lesson in how not to make a film if ever there was one. It's as if they took the theme of "wasted" and did their best to make every element of its production wasteful. What a mess. absolutely everything about this movie is simply banal, meaningless drivel, with the occasional pretty girl thrown in for good measure.

Frankly it's so lacking in anything equating to engaging development of plot & structure that just writing a review about it is tiresome in itself. Watch this movie if only to know what it means to waste money on a production which should never have seen the light of day. I'm left wondering why I even gave it as much as 2/10...?
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6/10
beautiful, arty film, but with a little bit spoiled scenario
nata-enforsen12 April 2011
Warning: Spoilers
A very beautiful film - beautiful locations, beautiful people, amazing visuals. I was also impressed by the actors' playing. The movie brings out the feeling of anxiety which keeps on whole way through. To me the film stopped being intriguing and thrilling right by the moment when it became clear that Xandria didn't die, and all in all nothing special happened, the mystery of this movie was gone, and since that moment I got the feeling that scenario got a bit lost and therefore turned to be a desperate chain of violent scenes. I just sat and thought "OK, now they have beaten up each other, what NOW? Even MORE beaten? OK?! And then?"..The end was also a bit of a "hm?". Film worth to see two times, in my terms of estimating.
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9/10
More than just a commentary
kosmasp15 February 2012
As another reviewer put it this movie is a social commentary. It is not your feel-good movie of the week. Though that does not mean, there isn't light in here too (depending on the way you look at it and what you think it might want to achieve that is). Above all though, the movie creates a mood that is difficult to describe, but easy to grab. If you want, that is of course.

This is not everyones cup of tea. As mentioned, this won't give you easy answers (maybe you don't see any answers at all in it), but it might get you to think about certain things. This isn't something you can watch to relax of course, but if you want food for discussion, if you want a movie that deals with emotions and some really strange things that are going on in our day to day life, it will be a real rewarding experience watching it.
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6/10
Strong message carried in unusual - rather strange - format
maros6127 January 2013
What I liked about this movie was that it made a very strong point on how dramatically can a life go south when you are young, fragile and think you're invincible and free to experiment all you want without serious consequences. In that light, it's a real eye opener, as I believe it's getting more and more hard for people to be young and safe at the same time.

I'm afraid the movie itself wasn't too much of a good job. Most of the scenes were over-dramatized, the dialogs did not offer much and there ass little room for exploring the true minds and souls of the characters.

What got my attention was the style of scenes - very contemporary cold-feeling interiors, design and colors mixed with the techno club music. All this was accompanied by visual effects like fast forwarding or slow motion. As a matter of fact, it was a dynamic cut. Maybe little too dynamic - there were certain scenes that were only visualized imaginations of characters and then the movie rolled back - which might have taken a while for the viewer to actually understand. These daydream-like flashes were triggering almost randomly and most of the time viewer could have very hard time understanding what has or hasn't happened.

Mood and content wise, the movie crushed everything possibly beautiful in a blood bath of modern darkness and shallowness, but I think it was meant to leave a reaction of bitterness in you, since the scenes and plot was quite drastic. In a strange way, it might be the intended message of the movie for the viewer to pick up.
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7/10
"We are trapped in a bubble while the rest of the world keeps turning"
doug_park20011 May 2013
WY is a violent, disturbing, low-budget Australian film whose plot and conflict are a bit similar to "Betrayed at 17" but go to lengths far beyond those of the Lifetime B-17. While it focuses mainly on the very darkest aspects of adolescence, it's pretty and sadly moving in a few spots, and the acting/characterization are undeniably real. WY also has a touch of the artsy and the surreal; it does a nice job of meshing certain characters' fantasies with their realities. Another interesting aspect of this film is how, although a few sparse adult voices are heard, the only visible characters are the teenagers, something I haven't seen anywhere outside of "Charlie Brown."

The pace of WY often plods (particularly in the middle), and the scope is limited almost exclusively to the teenagers' school and homes. Those qualities, along with the fact that WY's just generally a real downer, will obviously not appeal to some tastes. Others will find, as I did, that its better, more unique qualities make it a memorable and worthwhile experience.
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6/10
YOU CAN STOP THIS
nogodnomasters12 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
At a nice private High School rich kids are over indulgent. Darren (Oliver Ackland) is a computer robot junkie who lives in the shadow of his cooler step brother Zack (Alex Russell) who thinks very highly of himself. Xandrie (Adelaide Clemens) is a cutie who is "crushing on Darren." She attends a party filled with alcohol and drugs in hopes of spending some time with Darren. She passes out and spends time with everyone but Darren as our tale of innocent love becomes a tale of vengeance.

The film has some good scenes and a good ending. The characters didn't hook you as we got to know the bad guys better than the good guys. Darren was poorly written. The dialogue could have been better and the wanna-be relationship between our two main heroes is shown as a fleeting flashback and isn't well developed. It is drama/ thriller that could have been scripted better.

Parental Guide: F-bomb, male nudity. Deals with drugs and rape.
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6/10
'Lord of the Flies' feel
SnoopyStyle29 August 2016
Darren (Oliver Ackland) is an introverted teen at a high class school. His step-brother Zack (Alex Russell) is the popular kid who often throws raging parties. Xandrie (Adelaide Clemens) is a sweet girl taken with Darren. She attends Zack's party hoping to find him. Instead, she is drugged and raped by Zack and his friends. The group starts spreading rumors about Xandrie as she struggles to put it behind her. Darren refuses to let it go.

There are almost no adults in this movie which gives it a great 'Lord of the Flies' feel. There are harrowing scenes and devastating bullying. It's disturbing. There is an incident with Xandrie that should stand as the climax. It really should be pushed back towards the end. The intensity fizzles after the incident.
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1/10
don't bother unless you habla Aussie
twincitytony7 June 2013
could not figure out the the other ratings until i saw that they were from Australia, could understand 20 percent at best. How this gets by the people that made and market the film is mind boggling. Sub titles are needed here sadly, these people do not speaka the English. It is way worse then cockney English which you could possibly learn to follow. We are separated from Australians by a common lanquage. I am not a linguist so i am not sure what they are doing when they speak, its a combination of rapidity and the clipping of words, speaks slower and enunciate You can understand older Aussie films, so this is definitely something new, The film had a pricey budget so this is a error of the first degree. This is hubris, well i am stunned
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4/10
K Experimentation
raulfaust3 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
A big school party happens and young people get together to listen to loud music and take some drugs-- which aren't revealed, leaving it to spectator's imagination. After this party, a girl is supposedly raped by some of the guys out there-- in fact, I don't know if she was only raped or raped and murdered, since I found the plot extremely confusing. Actually, the whole story is complicated and spectator needs to pay big attention to understand what's going on-- in my case, it wasn't enough. Photography direction is beautiful and I believe director wanted to show the whole thing in the eyes of a ketamine user-- not that I experienced it but I read a lot about this drug. In the end, I sadly couldn't understand if the girl died, who died, what was real and what was not. Maybe I didn't pay enough attention, or maybe "Wasted on the Young" isn't an understandable movie at all.
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