Cinematographer/ short filmmaker Vincent Biron returns to TIFF with his feature film debut Prank… unfortunately the joke’s on us.
The film follows four restless teens in an unnamed Québec town as they pull off obnoxious, immature, and mostly harmless pranks. In a film like this you would expect stakes to rise, or the main character Stefie (Étienne Galloy) to realize that his new friends are not friends at all, or for his crush Lea (Constance Massicotte) to give some insight into this awkward phase of life he finds himself in. The film teases all of these things, but in the end we’re left knowing that very little will change for these annoying kids who aren’t nearly as funny as they think they are.
Aside from being very well shot (as we mentioned, Biron is a shooter by trade, and a skilled one), Prank‘s highlights come from the glimpses we get into the lives of characters right before they’re pranked. One minute you’re talking to your vet about euthanizing your constipated cat, the next thing you know you see some kid’s shitting on your car (the irony!). The victims’ lives seem infinitely more interesting than the pranksters we spend most of the movie with. The only one with any likeable traits is Jean-Se (Simon Pigeon), whose enthusiastic retellings and paintings of classic scenes from 80s action flicks like Bloodsport and Highlander are quite a bit of fun. Lea seems to have some depth and Massicotte gives a kinetic performance (reminiscent of a young Suzanne Clément) as the lone girl in the group, but her character ultimately disappoints.
Perhaps it’s my age showing, but instead of laughing along with the kids, I felt more like the adults annoyed at their dumb hijinks. Why don’t they just go get a job?!
Saturday Sept. 17, 6:15pm @ Scotiabank 8