I was very reluctant to watch this film and if you have seen this you might know why. For those of you who haven’t seen it, the reason is is because it deals with sex, drugs, STDs, vulgar behavior and has some immoral choices….Oh! and this is with all with underage kids. Aside that with some critics calling it “borderline child pornography” and you got one viewer was holding a T sign with his finger saying nope. But I found out about this film 7 years ago and I felt like I could muster up some cojones to watch it. The critics weren’t wrong though.
Aside from it’s controversial content, the film does offer a compelling story that gets you thinking. There are two narratives that film follows. We have Telly and Casper, two sexually active and hungry teenagers hanging around the streets of Manhattan looking for booze, drugs, girls and a good time. Most of their story surrounds their talks about sexual encounters and a pissing contest of sorts with fellow friends over their sexual conquests.
Then we have Jenni, one of the few character who appears to have a moral conscience. Her plot kicks off when she discovers that she has been infected the HIV virus. She has had only one partner who turns out to be Telly, who is unaware that he might be spreading the disease. Jenni spends the rest of the film trying to find Telly in order to warn him and those who might sleep with him. These two story lines eventually intertwine and leads to a finale that I won’t spoil but you should may not be for the faint of heart
One thing I haven’t heard this film be called is “tragedy” and it’s weird because it real does feel like the end of a Shakespeare tale. I won’t give away more besides that by the time I finished watching it, I felt cold about how it all wrapped up, yet I couldn’t see it ending any other way. Directed by Larry Clark and written by Harmony Korine (you might know him as the director of Spring Breakers) Kids isn’t afraid to get too intimate in the boys encounters with the girls they are prowling for. It was something I both appreciated and at the same time appalled by
Let’s discuss that briefly
Remember that small mention of “child pornography” ? I would be lying if I said that that was an overstatement. Some parts of the film were intense too for me to watch because it seemed wrong to watch something like that. Particularly one scene around the end of the film where a certain wrong action was performed on one of the female characters and it lasted for 5 FULL MINUTES (the last 3 of those minutes got me keeping my eyes closed because it was a bit disturbing). That might have been the hardest scene I had to watch and I definitely felt like it could have been cut down.
So what did take out of it? I think the message was (and this is of my own interpretation) the consequences of not teaching kids the dangers of unprotected sex and the negative effects as a result. ALL of these kids could have benefited from a condom or some birth control, which I’m frankly surprised they haven’t heard of in the entire film.