Teen-age romantic drama "One Night in Oslo" tackles teen angst -- break-ups, betrayal, and true friendships
A movie review by Oliver Carnay
What happens when you find out your best friend has been dating your ex-girlfriend without your knowledge? You were looking forward to that special celebration with your best friend getting drunk and being disorderly a day before Norway's national day, The Norweigan Day of Liberation, which is the 17th of May.
Sam and Amir, both 15 years old, are in a group of first generation of Oslo immigrants who know each other so long they grew up together sharing almost everything. In fact, they hang out almost daily. The problem came up when Sam falls in love with Thea, Amir's ex-girlfriend. When Sam has finally told Amir, the latter went into rampage of heights of violence and self-destruction, creating more aggressive behavior with their rival gang.
For Amir, betrayal is a bitter pill to swallow while the "protector" Sam, despite having been taking all the bullets for Amir, he acts as the more mature individual among the group, and has to take sides with his best friend until the end. The result might be devastating but it is worth the sacrifice to save their friendship.
In this coming of age film by second-feature Norweigan director Eirik Svensson, break-ups, betrayal, and true friendship are central topics of the story. Svensson successfully motivated his non-professional actors in a very convincing and realistic performances, combined a great screenplay with luscious cinematic photography to create a satisfying well-made piece.
During the Q&A after its U.S. Premiere at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Svensson related that during the process of casting he was not looking for perfect people. He also allowed his actors to do improvisation. The film had 6 weeks of preparation including motivating the kids, allowing them to have the power and weakness to be vulnerable, creating the characters he wanted each of them to convey. The production had twenty-five shooting days with one extra day of shoot, adding an important missing scene.
This teen romantic drama, subtitled "Natt Til 17." also required young kids to do "french kissing" and asked if it was a big problem convincing the parents to do the delicate scenes, Svensson noted that he has been very open to the parents from the start and communication has played big parts in making his film unique.