Netflix film I Am Jonas intrinsically links a man’s past with his present, presenting a deep, thriller-type coming of age story that’s worthwhile.
I Am Jonas was released on Netflix on March 6, 2020 — add it to your list now.
It’s common to embark on a coming-of-age story that roots itself in a hidden trauma for the lead character. Last week Netflix released I Am Not Okay WIth This, introducing a character that defined their upbringing based on their past and their issues were intrinsically linked to their mental health. I Am Jonas is oddly the same, but also flagrantly different. As an audience member, you find yourself stroking your chin wondering what the compelling link is between the teenage lead character and their experiences as an adult.
Jonas is obviously the lead character; as a teenager, he is a secretive teenager, quickly falling for a boy that takes a sudden interest in him, as they find reasons to skip classes to be around each other. As an adult, Jonas in impulsive and fractured; finding himself at night clubs, repeatedly cheating on his partner at home. He looks like a man lost, looking for a meaning that does not exist.
There’s more to the story of I Am Jonas that is best left for intrigue. The Netflix film is directed with a character focus, with the director purposefully placing the cameras on the characters so we can read their emotions for an extensive period of time. Body language speaks volumes, the dialogue is secondary in the Netflix film. The director had a clear vision — for the audience to understand the boy and the man; both versions of the same character work on twin tracks rather than one supporting the other.
I Am Jonas highlights the extreme homophobia a young gay teenager can experience while growing up — the intensity of the slurs at school are rife, which molds the attitudes and beliefs of a growing Jonas throughout the film. I Am Jonas takes the subject seriously rather than papering over the cracks, highlighting the attitudes of the past.
I Am Jonas is a well-woven, well-shot and well-acted French film with the running time of 82 minutes exemplifying the perfect length.
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