Played out like an Icelandic ‘Skins’ this coming of age drama may be easy to pigeonhole as a piece of teenage cultural trash but give it a chance and you’ll discover a powerfully emotive and honest insight to the harrowing journey adolescences can be.
Upon returning home from a summer language school in Manchester, Gabriel discovers not much has changed in his sleepy hometown yet the same could not be said for this newly liberated young man who now carries a heavy secret around his neck. It weighs on his conscious whilst become infuriatingly noticeable to his over controlling mother who it appears is prepared to go to great and often embarrassing lengths to reveal the origins of her son’s new found fondness for solitude and privacy.
Throughout the remains of the summer holidays, a time normally riddled with adventures of youthful hedonism, Gabriel finds himself encountering a wide range of trials and tribulations, from the seemingly trivial relationship troubles of his best friend to an event which will not only devastate his circle of close friends but the entire community.
Comparisons with televised versions of teenage popular culture are unavoidable. There is little doubt that Jitters has unashamedly fashioned itself on the emotional disarray that accompanies this perplexing quest for identity amongst the changing tide of pubescent insecurities. However, Jitters somehow manages to rise above its small screen template to become very much an assured piece of film.
The movingly cinematic strings of Olauf Arnald’s score pulsates through the films more personal moments with an energy that fittingly amplifies the emotion on screen to the same heightened degree of importance that the characters appear to be feeling. This combined with some impressively natural turns by a youthful cast (who at times put their more established onset colleagues to shame) and you have a highly impassioned film, that whilst in no way without it’s teething problems, perfectly captures the hysteria which surrounds this transition into adulthood.