Marketed and recommended to people as an Icelandic Skins, Jitters plays out quite like . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . an Icelandic Skins.
Young Gabriel returns from his trip to Manchester and rejoins his group of close friends. They all have their various personal problems and Gabriel is the lad who tends to help every one of them get back on track. But now he has his own inner turmoil to be dealing with.
It’s hard to work up any enthusiasm for Jitters, it’s one of those films that’s simply there. We’ve seen the idea many times now, teens dealing with their own problems and doing a better job of facing the future than their elders and parents.
The acting is decent enough, Atli Oskar Fjalarsson is a likeable enough lead and he’s ably supported by Hreindis Ylva Garoarsdottir, Haraldur Ari Stefansson, Birna Run Eirksdottir and everyone else onscreen.
The direction by Baldvin Zophoniasson (who co-wrote the screenplay with Ingibjorg Reynisdottir) is decent enough but the movie fails to stand out from an overly familiar crowd.
There are occasional moments of humour but, for the most part, the film plays out in a straightforward, plodding fashion. Characters are hard to care for, with the exception of Gabriel, Greta (a young girl fed up of her drunken mother and wanting to find out just who her father was) and Stella (a young girl always being questioned by her overbearing grandmother).
Jitters is okay, it is what it is, but it could have been sharper and improved in almost every way. Touching on subjects such as sexuality, alcoholism, smothering overprotection of young adults and violent crime, it says nothing new and saves the best for last, with a final 15-20 minutes that actually packs some emotional wallop and rewards patient viewers for making it through the whole journey.
DIRECTOR: BALDVIN ZOPHONIASSON
STARS: ATLI OSKAR FJALARSSON, HREINDIS YLVA GAROARSDOTTIR, BIRNA RUN EIRIKSDOTTIR, HARALDUR ARI STEFANSSON
RUNTIME: 97 MINS APPROX