The Edge of Seventeen beautifully captures the awkwardness, confusion and weirdness of teenage years.
Director: Kelly Fremon Craig
Cast: Hailee Steinfeld, Woody Harrelson, Kyra Sedgwik, Haley Lu Richardson, Blake Jenner
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Teenage is undoubtedly a very volatile period during one’s life. The struggle of figuring out who you really are and what you really want is one of the highlights of this strange yet beautiful time. Numerous movies have been made which attempt to portray teenage angst. The Edge of Seventeen is a film that really shines when it comes to this particular subject matter. It has some kind of freshness and uniqueness to it that similar movies do not.
The story follows a girl named Nadine (played by Hailee Steinfeld) who has been socially awkward all her life. She has struggled to ‘fit in’ socially and make any friends with the exception of Krista, her best (and only) friend. Life starts to get even harder and awkward for Nadine when she finds out that Krista is dating her brother. Hailee Steinfeld gives a great, heart felt performance as Nadine. She really succeeds in portraying the complex and three-dimensional nature of her character. Her performance is one of the main reasons why the film excels.
As the story progresses, we also get to know that Nadine was really close to her father who died when Nadine was young. This event has been a major cause of her social anxiety and depression. But The Edge of Seventeen is not all gloomy and depressing. There are also many comedic moments throughout. It has warmth and charm and is a genuine ‘feel-good movie’.
Many teenagers will be able to relate to the character of Nadine. At one point in the film, she says, “I just had the worst possible thought. I’ve got to spend the rest of my life with myself.” She is a girl who’s clearly frustrated with her life but still moves along. In fact, the basic purpose of The Edge of Seventeen is to showcase how she navigates through her teenage struggles.
The film did have one weakness though, and that is the ending. Without giving too much away, let’s just say that it was a bit too clichéd and predictable. But other than that, The Edge of Seventeen was a truly great watch. Its sharp and focused writing ensured that it did not stray off track and stayed true to what it wanted to achieve. Hailee Steinfeld’s performance made the film an emotional one. The Edge of Seventeen is a genuine teen comedy amongst the many ‘pretentious’ ones being made nowadays!
FINAL RATING: 4/5