Drama, 1 hr 37 min
A rich high-school teen trio bite off more than they can chew in the quest for conventional beauty.
Granit and Maymon have produced a touching and heartening film, neatly introducing issues of gender identity and body image alongside the more familiar coming of age storyline
Flawless (2018) is a coming of age drama with a twist, written and directed by Tal Granit and Sharon Maymon (97mins). This film explores how three teens navigate the harsh reality of societal pressures while hoping to realise their personal yet unfulfilled dream to be asked on a date, by an attractive prince charming to the school prom. The story is set three months before proms night in a Jerusalem high school and the rest of their classmates are pairing up to go the prom in extravagant and expensive ways.
We first meet vlogger (Netsanet Zenaneh Mekonnen) and her best buddy Keshet (Noam Lugasy) who attempt to stand up to the bitchy, cool girls at school. Although they are an upbeat pair, similar to OITNB buddies Flaca and Maritza, we find out they are also insecure, and obsessed about their body image. Eden (transgender actor Stav Strashko) who is the new girl at the school, taller than most, and socially awkward yet eager to make friends. After a rocky start Tiggist and Keshet become intrigued
by Eden and form a friendship with her.
However, Eden has her own secret as a trans student but doesn’t know that Tiggist and Keshet too have secrets of their own. So desperate to be attractive and get the perfect date for the prom they plan to travel to the Ukraine to sell their kidneys for a breast augmentation and nose reduction. As Eden gets settled into school, she also catches the eye of a young boy. He sadly has been relentlessly bullied by his classmates and they both find they have a connection. They both understand what it feels like to be persecuted and treated as an outcast. However, their connection is more than this – there is an endearing attraction between the two of them.
As it gets closer to prom night Tiggist and Keshet decided to share their secret with Eden. Initially she is shocked but after realising she may not get permission from her father for gender identity surgery, she decides to join the other two on this perilous journey. This is arguably the most compelling part of the film, the tension and concern for the welfare for characters are palpable.
Granit and Maymon have produced a touching and heartening film, neatly introducing issues of gender identity and body image alongside the more familiar coming of age storyline. In fact, this story was based on a real-life incident in Israel where two teenage girls did sell their kidneys for breast augmentation. However, it was Granit and Maymon who had the insight to introduce the transgender story line. However, if there was one thing missing, it was perhaps not stretching the issues that they introduced enough to allow for a bit more depth of understanding. But then again, they achieved the feel good factor as this genre of film requires while wrapping it around some challenging issues and maybe this is enough.
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