In a long hot summer, a collective sexual madness grips a group of French school students in Eva Husson’s uninspired Bang Gang.
My Summer Of Loveby Alexa Dalby
CAUTION: Here be spoilers
Subtitled A Modern Love Story, Bang Gang is the directorial debut of Eva Husson but though you might expect her to bring a debut freshness to it, the film seems tired and unoriginal. Set among teenage school students in Biarritz, it’s the story of the sex parties that break out when one of them is left to himself in an extensive house with a luxurious large garden and swimming pool, while his parents are in Morocco for nine months.
Alex (Finnegan Oldfield), whose house it is, with his antics abetted by his friend Nikita (Fred Hotier) initally seduces two female friends, sexually confident Bardot lookalike George (Marylin Lima) and more reserved Laetitia (Daisy Broom). Thereafter, the numerous party scenes he orchestrates quickly develop into orgies sparked off by jilted and heartbroken George with a game of Truth or Dare (without the truth part) as the young people have what – presumably for most of them – are their first sexual experiences. During the course of the long hot summer the orgies become a regular fixture for the group as they drift into a collective sexual madness. They dub themselves the Bang Gang (an English name spoken with a French accent) and post phone videos of the parties online, at first on a private site until in the end one eventually is posted on YouTube. It’s like a version of Larry Clark’s Kids updated for the internet age.
In the house, the camera moves fluidly through the naked bodies as their intake of drink and drugs results in increasingly frenetic sexual behaviour to a background of pounding electronic music by White Sea. But the camerawork doesn’t hide how repetitive the scenes start to seem, though there’s a pervasively ominous atmosphere created by the Alex’s hindsight voiceover which hints at trouble to come. There’s so much nudity of perfect young bodies that eventually it seems exploitative, let alone unrealistic. Excluded from the parties is Laetitia’s geeky neighbour Gabriel (Lorenzo Lefebre), whose free time is taken up by helping to care for his disabled father, but he proves his worth in the end. However, overall the teenage relationships aren’t really delineated, a moralistic twist near the end appears out of nowhere, as does the sudden, unrealistic pairing-up of two of the main characters that gives the film the justification for its subtitle.
Bang Gang is released on 17 June 2016 in the UK.