Boys (originally called Jongens) is a Dutch film. It was released on TV in the Netherlands in February of 2014. It was so popular that it was re-released in theaters (that would never happen in America, where most TV movies are considered to be average at best, if they’re not on HBO). It was later sold to other countries. I saw it on Netflix.
The film is about a fifteen-year-old boy named Sieger who lives with his widowed father, Theo, and his rebellious older brother, Eddy.
Sieger and his best friend, Stef, are on the track team. They both perform so well that they are chosen to join two other teammates, Marc and Tom, in an important relay race. Sieger begins to form a bond with Marc who is free-spirited and quirky.
One day after practice, the four boys are riding their bikes when they decide to swim in a nearby river. They decide to race to see who gets in the water first. Marc rides his bike into the water while fully clothed. The others find it hilarious.
After spending some time swimming, Sieger, Stef, and Tom, decide to leave to go home. Marc begs Sieger to stay, but Sieger declines. While riding his bike with Stef, Sieger waits until Stef is out of sight, and he return to the river. Sieger and Marc spend time skipping rocks and swimming; all of this culminates with Marc kissing Sieger, and Sieger kissing Marc back.
Confused, Sieger denies being gay, to which Marc says, “Of course you’re not.”
Over time, the two boys begin spending more time together. Sieger meets Marc’s family, and they grow very close.
But there is a hitch.
Sieger and Stef begin dating two girls, and Marc starts to feel jealous, especially when Sieger tries to ignore Marc in public.
One day, Sieger and Marc make plans to swim one evening so that they can catch up with each other. However, the plans are interrupted when Theo informs Sieger that Eddy is nowhere to be found (Eddy clashed with Theo over various issues such as Theo taking away Eddy’s moped for punishment of Eddy’s various indiscretions), and so Sieger searches for his brother.
Sieger finds Eddy. Eddy refuses to return home, but he gives Sieger a ride home which is interrupted when Eddy almost runs over Marc. Sieger gets out of the car to confront Marc who demands to know Sieger never showed up to swim. Sieger pushes Marc, out of fear of their relationship being exposed, and he gets back in the car. Feeling guilty, Sieger, gets out of the car after Eddy refuses to stop.
The next day, Sieger meets Marc at the relay race; he tries to apologize, but Marc refuses to listen. The team, nonetheless, wins the race.
Back at home, Sieger and Stef celebrate with Theo, who reconciles with Eddy and returns to him his moped. Sieger, however, feels that something is missing. He takes the moped, and the film ends with Seiger and giving Marc a ride on the moped, as they ride into the distance.
I thought that this movie was rather sweet. It had beautiful cinematography. And it shared a sweet story of how a type of relationship unfolded. I really like movies that are somewhat intimate and are primarily about two people who get close with each other. Whether the relationship is between lovers, family members, or friends, I am drawn to depictions of a type of intimate relationship being played out on screen. What I want most of all is feeling close to somebody.
Sieger was an engaging character. It was easy to empathize with him. Lots of people struggle with self-discovery and an evolving sense of self, and of learning to be open about who they are.
Marc was also a great character. He is one of those characters who shows you how to embrace all of the things that make you unique, all without making a big deal about it.