2:37 Murali K. Thalluri

2:37 Murali K. Thalluri
2:37 is an Australian film following a group of teenagers around school on the day one of them decides to commit suicide. The story is told in overlapping narratives from different perspectives, making slight jumps in time from one character’s story to the next.

The students more or less follow The Breakfast Club character clichés, only in 2:37 the freak is gay, the princess is bulimic, the jock and the quiet girl both hide sexual secrets, and there are two geeks, one who’s a tightly wound overachiever and the other who is tormented for his unfortunate bladder dysfunction. Between them all more issues are covered than during an entire season of Degrassi.

Writer/director Murali K. Thalluri, only 20 years old when he made the film, does well in creating suspense and holding interest through his direction. His style owes much to Gus Van Sant’s Elephant, from its ominous feel and slow build to the inevitable to its penchant for cameras following the backs of heads as they walk around school. The sound design is also a major contributor to the film’s mood, using ambient noise, sparse dialogue and Erik Satie music to highlight the isolation of the characters.

Unfortunately, the script is a little too melodramatic with its over-revealing direct camera addresses and obvious character revelations. It’s a pretty angst-filled look at the worst of teenagerdom told in a claustrophobic way that cannot imagine life beyond the torturous walls of high school. (TVA)