Netflix Diecisiete Movie Review: Diecisiete Is A Spanish Heart-Warmer
Netflix Diecisiete Movie Review: It’s a film suffused with clichés but works well as an entertainer
- Movie Name Diecisiete(Spanish, Seventeen)
- Director Daniel Sanchez Arevalo
- Actor Biel Montoro, Nacho Sanchez
Rating: ***(3 stars)
Two warring brothers, one dying grandmother and a 3-footed dog on a road trip. Was that the brief given to the director of this formulistic yet heart-warming Spanish film? Looks like it. Diecisiete(Seventeen) is a film suffused with clichés. Albeit, endearing clichés that we just can’t help warming up to. The film opens on a really high note with the juvenile 17-going-on-18 delinquent protagonist Hector(Biel Montoro) stealing into a mall and spending the night in buyable tent.
The droll deliciousness of the opening lingers, even as the film favours banality over freshness. Bouts of freshness spring up intermittently as Hector and his harried at-his-wit’s-end elder brother Ismail(Nacho Sanchez) take off on a road trip that would do what it’s expected to: bring the brothers closer even as Hector’s search for a beloved missing dog(named Sheep, because, well, he resembles one) becomes meditation on loving and letting go.
There are running jokes about the missing dog, about the definition of sarcasm and the grandma being ‘told’ not to die while the two brothers are busy elsewhere which would bring a smile to every viewer’s face. Who wouldn’t like to laugh in the face of adversity, penury and death? But thereis nothing here that we haven’t seen before in innumerable road films.
What works in the narrative’s favour is the tranquil Spanish countrysides where this quaint but conventional bromance is located. There are lovely shots of the family trailer gliding gently along the serpentine greenery. These images of natural beauty suggest a pure hearted approach to the theme of sibling bonding that never lets itself down even when the screenwriters put the two brothers in the tritest of situations.
By the time the road bromance reaches the old dying grandma’s native village, the plot has clearly run out of ideas. That’s okay. Life , which this all-heart-no-artifice drama imitates so ardently, is often like that. We run out of reasons to keep going. And then life splutters to a start again.
See this film if you enjoy watching a dysfunctional family fielding itself with feeling from falling apart.