Consequences, written and directed by Darko Stante, is credited as the first ever LGBTQ narrative film from the country of Slovenia. Unfortunately, the movie offers little more than this novelty, as it has good intentions and some interesting ideas, but feels seriously underdeveloped.
The film follows a young man who is sent to a detention center after getting into a fight where he must learn to fit in among the other detainees and come to terms with his repressed sexuality. Although this premise has the potential to be a highly effective and compelling coming-of-age drama, the movie largely ignores those elements, instead becoming an underdeveloped portrait of counterculture.
The beginning of the film shows a ton of promise and introduces some interesting themes, such as the “nature vs. nurture” debate. As the protagonist continues to try to fit in to the group, we see him changing and conforming to their image. However, once he finishes conforming, his arc stops and he becomes far less interesting in dynamic.
The protagonist is a compelling character because he tries to make something of his life after his mistakes. Yes, the means by which he sets out to accomplish his goal aren’t the most admirable, but they elicit sympathy nonetheless. All of us have faced a time in which we have felt like we had to abandon who we are to fit in, and this movie plays on that experience.
Emotionally, the film hits some of its beats and misses others. Although the scenes in which the character acts irrationally are sometimes horrifying, it is the more subdued scenes that end up being more harrowing. There are a handful of moments in which the facade that the character is constantly building over the rest of the movie breaks down, and those are the powerful parts.
The actors all do a pretty good job in their roles, although nobody steals the spotlight from Matej Zemljic as the protagonist. Zemljic does inhabit the character despite the flawed writing, and he does an excellent job of bringing an added layer of humanity to the film. His chemistry with the other actors, including Timon Sturbej and Gasper Markun, is also very good.
On a technical level, the movie is fine, but not quite as good as you would hope. The cinematography looks pretty good, but it is also extremely straightforward. Some style would have been beneficial to this film, as it could have helped draw us into the world a bit more. Additionally, other elements such as the score and the production design, are mostly unmemorable.
Consequences has noble intentions and some good ideas, but these good ideas ultimately never come to fruition. That’s a shame, because this had the potential to be more than just a groundbreaking movie for its country — it could have been a groundbreaking movie for the world.
Consequences hit theaters and VOD on August 2.