Young individuals – the youth, essentially – fighting against an oppressive, unjust, and seemingly domineering economic structure is a concept that underlies a multiplicity of films under a variety of different genres. Rebellious youth can be found in a range of genres including Drama (Rebel Without a Cause), Drama-Comedy (The Breakfast Club), and even Science-Fiction (Star Wars). What I found interesting about The Edukators was that although the way it was shot was, in a way, very realistic, a brief foray into the characters themselves make it a little bit less so. The three main characters allow themselves to undergo so much risk for the mere act of making a statement – to break into a rich man’s house, risking getting caught, risking getting jail time, risking breaking into the house of a crazy man and getting caught – without any motivation of stealing (despite their obvious need for funds) or other common motivations for breaking in – indicative of the naivety of teen spirit.
The characters, then in a sense, may be said to be quite relatable, and thus is what ultimately drew me into the film. At some point in life, everyone wishes they could rebel, or simply do something about the society we live in and what we perceive to be fair or unfair. Furthermore, the film exemplified throughout its run the message it was trying to bring across regarding power, and the arrogrance and insensitivity of the ruling class. This is done in even the simplest and most minute and seemingly rather insignificant scenes – i.e., the scene where the restaurant guests order Julie to take back their drinks since they were placed in the wrong cup. A small action – a small scene – was able to evoke emotions of rage or at least disgust already inherent within us towards the obscenity of a ruling class that enjoy humiliating the lower people and asserting their power over them.
Furthermore, the introduction of a love triangle, while initially cheesy for me, ultimately sought to remind me that these people – these rebels who do things others normally would not – are ultimately just teenagers, and are human, too, making them all the more relatable despite the rather implausible concept of an otherwise highly-realistic and entirely plausible film. It allowed us to relate to the characters on a level that we could all relate to – of love, and relationships. While it does disgress from the main premise of the film, nonetheless it proves its purpose of reminding us of the characters’ humanity, and of their youth.
If I had one critique, it would be the rather awkward acting and music overlays (diagetic) in the final scenes of the film.
Extra Comments: Now that I understand what the relevance of the song used to distinguish between and show the relation between two significant moments in the film, perhaps it is not as misplaced as I initially thought. I do believe the song choice was still rather odd, although it is, admittedly, a brilliant song, especially in the brevity of using an English song for a European film. Perhaps it was the switch in language that initially bothered me. Nonetheless, given its intent, it was a smart decision from the director, especially considering song’s capacity to evoke feelings and relations within us.