Krampack

Ladymol's Review:

An excellent Spanish film about the friendship of two sixteen-year-old boys. Nico comes to stay with his childhood friend Dani for the summer while Daniís parents are away.† Nico has the usual concerns of a boy that age: girls, sex, and sex with girls. Dani though has other priorities: Nico.

This is a touching film about teenage angst and the problems of being gay in a, mainly, straight world. Nico gives off all the wrong signals to Dani as he doesnít mind messing around sexually with him, but for him, thatís all it is: messing around. For Dani itís more, and when Nico starts to fall for a local girl, heís hurt and turns to an older (gorgeous) gay man in the village.

This isnít a heavy movie; itís told with humour and great acting from the lead characters. Well worth watching.

Cerisaye's Review:

KrŠmpak (AKA Nico And Dani - US Title)

I really enjoyed this movie.† Mainly because itís affectionate, non-judgemental and highly realistic, quite unlike Hollywood teen movie equivalents.† A teen gay relationship thatís hesitant and stumbling and uncertain, almost painful to watch, yet totally convincing.† It also features gorgeous locations, on the coast near Barcelona, bathed in golden light.

Two 16 year-old boys, Dani and Nico, friends whoíve always shared everything, spend a 2-week holiday coming to terms with their sexuality and what that means to their relationship.† Conveniently Daniís parents have gone off to Egypt leaving him in the familyís fancy villa, but not entirely alone as a woman comes to cook and another to give English lessons.†

On Nicoís first day they meet bold Elena and shy Berta.† Much to Daniís annoyance, Nico seems dead set on losing his virginity to Elena.† He goes to the beach instead of spending time with Dani, who wants to explore a different kind of relationship.† Elena is fun, streets ahead of poor weedy Nico, who thinks heís a babe magnet.† Poor Berta falls for Dani, but heís not interested.† Dani isnít attracted to girls.

The film focuses on Daniís attempts to persuade Nico he feels the same way.† Nico appears oblivious, although not averse to krŠmpak, i.e. mutual masturbation, to release all that adolescent sexual energy and prepare for the main event, with the girls.† Thereís an amusing bit where Nico shows Dani how sitting on your hand to numb it first increases erotic pleasure.† Nico gets confused and uncomfortable as Danni seeks increasing intimacy. Their sex scenes are frank but beautifully handled, with enough explicitness so we know what theyíre doing without offence to those who donít like that sort of thing.† However, there is one scene that is disturbing, when Dani appears to date rape Berta, presumably as some sort of last gasp attempt to be like Nico and the girls expect.

Daniís dealings with handsome older man, Julian, rang true, both drawn by mutual recognition.† They have a strong scene testing Julianís reluctance to get involved with an underage youth whose father he knows professionally, and itís hinted in other ways. Dani, hurt by Nicoís rejection, takes the initiative.† If you think callow youth seducing mature man is far fetched then read The Coming Storm.

The film has an edge of tension more than just sexual- a rifle left on a table, Daniís habit of locking Nico in the bathroom.† Itís sweet and sensual and funny, yet packs a punch.† Both boys give convincingly natural performances, seeming to become their characters. Subtle glances reveal more than words.† The film doesnít make everything neat and tidy, and the end worked for me.† Both boys learn their lesson thatís thereís more to relationships than sex, and take another step on the road to manhood.† Highly recommended.† Spanish with English subtitles.

Buy Krampack [2000] from Amazon UK here.

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