Poignant, funny, and full of grace, Live is Life follows a group of boys as they navigate the painful transition to adulthood, enjoying one last trip together.
This review of the Netflix film Live is Life does not contain spoilers.
Remember those long Summer days of your adolescence? When the days seemed to roll on endlessly before you, each and every moment offered the possibility of adventure, new experiences, and the chance to discover the person you might yet become? If you can’t recall those days, a viewing of Live Is Life, now streaming on Netflix, could be just what you need.
Rodri is a restless schoolboy desperate to escape the shackles of the classroom and can’t wait to rush into the welcoming arms of Summer and the opportunity to catch up with his friends. Once reunited with his ‘Gang,’ they devise a plan to go on a hiking trip, camp out overnight, and pick the leaves of a local flower, rumored to have magic restorative powers, which they plan to give to one of the gang, Suso’s Father, who is in a coma following an accident.
During the course of the film, we learn about each of the boys and understand that all of them are troubled in their own way. One boy, Alvaro, is seriously ill with cancer and his twin brother Maza is desperately worried about him, a couple of the others may have less weighty things on their mind perhaps, but nevertheless have troubles. Rodri can’t work out how to tell his parents he failed his year at school, and Garriga has a crush on a girl at school and can’t work up the courage to talk to her.
Borrowing liberally from other coming-of-age dramas Live is Life has a lightness of touch that works as effectively for the ‘boys will be boys’ hijinks as it does its more serious themes, managing to walk the line carefully between flippant and mawkish, always sure of its footing and never too sentimental.
Each boy is given the opportunity to face their own problems head-on and do so with confidence knowing that they have friends that will have their back no matter what. At the end of their trip, each boy has been on a journey and been changed by it, and they know deep down that things will never quite be the same again. The final scenes seemed to suggest as though they were saying goodbye to childhood as much as each other.
Live is Life provokes thoughts of the delicate line between childhood and adulthood. Each of us has to, at some stage make that tricky transition from one stage to another and it is fraught with highs and lows. We don’t become adults when we hit a certain milestone, or when we reach a particular age, instead, it is when the world decides to impose itself on us and, ready or not, we are forced to face it on its terms. When that time comes, if you are lucky enough you will have friends like these boys.
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