Overview: In Earth’s near future, access to water has become inaccessible; a teenage boy attempts to revitalize a farm and his family’s well-being. Screen Media Films; 2014; Rated R; 100 minutes.
The Fate of Earth: The Young Ones operates on a field of realism. Earth is a dust bowl. The government regulates the water supply. Citizens raid one another seeking the elixir of life. Flem Lever (Nicholas Hoult) has no doubt he can convince/bribe the workers building the pipeline to bring water to his land, an effort initiated by Ernest Holm (Michael Shannon). Both Flem and Ernest are relentless in achieving their the goal, succeeding through manipulation, and encountering death.
It’s So Fluffy: Young Ones suffers from discontinuity and filler fluff. From the role of the questionable mother, to the appearance of Jerome Holm’s (Kodi Smit-McPhee) possible love interest “Ears” to the conflict with Flem and Mary Holm (Elle Fanning). A malformed idea resides in the lack of water itself. Although not freely available, the population is able to get drinking water, but from where? As if to alleviate any continuity mishaps, the chapter transitions from one character to another. This is particularly unnecessary for a movie that is not mentally complex and does not have a long duration. To recap: it’s fluffy.
Relief from the Drought: This sci-fi Western does have a few wins. Jerome provides all of the complexity and emotional growth that the other characters lack. Director, Jake Paltrow, grants a challenge for all actors, to deliver a performance without countless line to support the build-up and the fall of a character. To accomplish this, is to rely on the effectiveness of the lines that are actually spoken, to utilize the environment and to transform a perceived weakness into a strength. Young Ones is a public service announcement disguised as a movie, as dire as that sounds, it’s not awful and somehow it works. In regards to water conservation, two points are hit: the effects of global warming (C’mon, it’s real!) and bringing awareness to those who currently do not have drinkable water available. An underlying issue is the plight of small, family-operated farms and their future. Overall, Jerome is reason enough to lend 100 minutes of your time.
Final Thoughts: Although Young Ones lacks clarity in the plot and muddles through a bunch of fluff, Jerome makes this a film worth paying attention to.