The Class details
|Starring:||Joonas Paas, Karl Sakrits, Liina Joonas, Mikk Mägi, Saara Kadak, Paula Solvak, Brita Kikas, Kadi Metsla, Lauri Pedaja, Riina Ries, Virgo Ernits, Triin Tenso, Pärt Uusberg, Vallo Kirs, Kaspar Kannelmäe|
|Run time:||1 hour 37 minutes|
|Rental release:||26 Jan 2009|
Most helpful review
Glad I didn't go to that school.....By a customer from Fulham , 01 Mar 2009
[Highly rated reviewer]Well, this is quite the harrowing drama. Nominated for the best foreign picture Oscar and winner of several awards; it is easy to see why, as it is sublimely acted by a mostly youthful cast and is gripping throughout. However, I didnt think it was quite the 5 star masterpiece others seem to.
It is the tale of a boy getting bullied at school, and one of his classmates breaking rank to try to protect him from the ringleaders. I thought the dynamic between the boys was very perfectly realized, but I couldnt for the life of me figure out why all the girls in the class seemed to be as evil as the worst of the lads. Sure, the girls dont actually participate in the physical side of the bullying, but rather than just sit back and watch as some reviews claim they do, they actually seem to take particular enjoyment from watching this poor boy getting tortured every day. I like to think Im not naïve enough to think that girls cant be as bad as boys in terms of bullying, sometimes perhaps even worse, but I just couldnt buy into these otherwise normal girls almost cackling with delight as the lads put the boot in. Bear in mind, these girls are presented as pretty normal and the school itself as a normal school.
Only when the bullying takes the most perverse and extreme form do any of the girls display ANY unease with what they are witnessing. And even then, after a single joke, they seem back to their satanic levels of normality. Another problem with the realism of this seemingly fact based drama was the sheer amount of fighting that goes on in the school halls without any teachers being there to stop it. Finally, no-one seems to react with any particular panic to the appearance of armed students strolling around in the halls, when Id imagine that even in the hardest inner city, American schools, such a sight would have a few people at least blinking an eyelid!
Maybe what Im missing is some kind of cultural context to put this film in but even so, am I supposed to believe that either teenage Estonian girls are all very much hardened to the worst of human behaviour, or that almost every member of the class were coincidently psychopathic? Either way, I dont buy it . At the start the subtitle proclaims that this is based on true stories, rather than a true story. Perhaps this is the reason why some of the elements seem overdone ..
Despite this, it remains a great film if you dont mind the darkness that seeps from every minute. The victim, the boy that wants to help him & the main bully are superb, the direction is great and its very well shot. Outstanding in many ways; its just not quite as perfect as the hype suggests.
(One final thing about the DVD itself the subtitles come in after the character starts speaking sometimes theyve even finished their line by the time you get to read what theyve said )
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Uncomfortable viewing for more than one reasonBy Axeman666 (23 reviews) from Tunbridge Wells , 15 Jun 2013Yes, the story is violent, thought provoking and upsetting however this is not a great film. Done on a fairly low budget, the acting wasn't great, the screenplay was average and the subtitles were slow at coming up so was hard to follow who was saying what at certain times. The relentless bullying was a little unconvincing at times, especially with so many of the class effectively participating by standing-by and laughing. The lasting impression will be from the general tone and theme of the film but I don't think it will be worth a second watch.
Not a very nice school!By gingerspike (432 reviews) from Grimsby , 16 Oct 2010Being employed in a secondary school, i'm only glad it is not like the one in this film! This is a rather hard hitting and very interesting film set in an Eastern European school. A great piece of drama.
harrowing but very well executed (no pun intended)By ShonaMcIntosh (1 review) from Exeter , 12 Apr 2010
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS Show review anywayHideI added this film to my list on the recommendation of a friend, who did not warn me how horrific it is!! I knew it was about a high-school massacre, but hadn't really thought about the fact that it would (seems obvious now) mostly focus on the harrowing physical and mental abuse that the protagonists suffer before they go on their shooting spree. It was really hard viewing, particularly as the abuse culminates in a graphic sexual assault.
I would still recommend it (maybe) as it really was thought-provoking, realistic and very well-made, but I think it should come with a warning! I felt a bit violated after watching it...
School days...By Teebs (160 reviews) from Rochester , 18 Nov 2009Powerful high school drama from Estonia, which examines the behaviour of a class of students who nearly all, to some extent, become involved with the bullying of Joosep an unpopular outsider. The exception is Kaspar who defends him, believing in upholding a sense of honour and basic morality. Like Gus Van Sant's Elephant the film ends in tragic violence, but whereas that film kept its distance from the protagonists this film is far more interested in the reasoning and motives behind the destruction, showing the potential cruelty of a group mentality against the individual and the consequences which can arise. It may not be as accomplished or confident artistically, but the human story is more powerful.
True up to a pointBy Boatthink (76 reviews) from Burton , 22 Sep 2009Thats how I remember school apart from the guns. Hard to watch. Insightful. Worrying.