Coming-of-age films seems to be very prevalent on the list, almost too much so. Wild Reeds is a foreign take (Specifically, French) on the coming-of-age story, so there’s a bit of a difference from similar American fare, but only slightly. Andre Techine’s film is an anomaly, a film that doesn’t really seem to have a reason for existing, other than to exist. That will make it a hard watch for some, and in ways, it was for me, mostly because the film itself seemed to be so… fortuitous in its storytelling.
The film starts out kinda dropping us into the setting and the times, and the first ten minutes or so are rather disorienting trying to acclimate ourselves to our newfound surroundings. The story was typical of coming-of-age dramas, in that it was kind of a catch-all rather than having an actual straightforward narrative, so if that’s not your thing, this will likely rub you the wrong way. I wasn’t a big fan of the camerawork on this one. It was very rudimentary; you could see how everything was done, since there was no immersive factor to any of it – it didn’t blend into the background like great cinematography does, and when the shot became very technical, it was almost as if the camera had trouble keeping up in spots. Still, you could tell that it was trying, which was admirable, I guess; it doesn’t fail, but neither does it really succeed.
After a while of watching the film, I finally figured out what was bothering me so much about it; I was trying to justify how someone would like it in comparison to a bunch of other films from the list. This is nothing but a detraction from what Wild Reeds has to offer. As a stand-alone product, it’s a decently made film about a tough time in any young adult’s life, made even tougher by varying circumstances for each of the four leads. But compared to others, this doesn’t have the focus or the drive other films of its kind have; it just seems almost aimless when you look at it in that light. My advice would be, don’t. Let the film wash over you on its own merits, and don’t get too caught up with what the film could be, but just like it for what it is.
Arbitrary Rating: 7/10