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North Sea Texas - DVD Review

North Sea Texas

Review by Louise Carleton

IndieLondon Rating: 2.5 out of 5

BAVO Defurne’s new release North Sea Texas is a coming-of-age tale that focuses on the dizzying trials and tribulations of first love. While all the elements are there (from forbidden and unrequited love to scenes of emotional angst and turmoil) the end result is somewhat lacking.

At the centre of the action is schoolboy Pim (Jelle Florizoone), a quiet and seemingly ordinary boy who lives with his ex-beauty queen single mother – also the local accordion starlet – in a small dismal town on the Belgian coast.

Pim escapes the mundanity of everyday life by retreating into his imagination or through the numerous drawings he creates. This mundanity is soon broken, however, with an awakening infatuation with the motorbike riding next door neighbour Gino (Mathias Vergels).

The two must frustratingly work through the new complex feelings they feel for one another along with a large dose of heartache and rejection (Pim is also blind to Gino’s younger sister, Sabrina, and her advances).

Simultaneously, Pim’s own bored mother Yvette (Eva Van Der Gucht) finds solace in the company of a tattooed travelling gypsy by the name of Zoltan, a relationship who’s outcome throws the lives of Pim, Gino and Sabrina into uncertainty and a great deal of heartache.

While there are some touching moments beautifully illustrating the frustrations of young love the film can miss the mark and fail to really develop.

At slow moments where anything fails to materialise the characters can seem flat and border on the irritating. It is interesting to note Defurne’s previous works consist mainly of short films and it does appear North Sea Texas would work brilliantly as a short.

The most entertaining performance comes from Pim’s mother Yvette, whose own painful and frustrating moments in love are played out alongside her sons.

Through her own messy and often alcohol soaked unions we are offered another glimpse into the painful and wonderful moments of love.

Her character attempts to balance the sometimes lagging relationship between Pim, Gino and Sabrina by offering a different perspective and something else to briefly focus on when the narrative is a bit sparse.

But overall and despite its moments of insight and poignancy the film fails to deliver, which is a shame considering the potential it had and the interesting subject matter.

In Dutch, with subtitles

Certificate: 15
Running time: 98mins
UK DVD Release: August 6, 2012