T500FC, 422nd: Thirteen (Catherine Hardwicke, 2003)


Maybe the number thirteen is the lucky number for the director, Catherine Hardwicke, of this film. Lucky in a sense that this movie paved way for her to mainstream giving us the swoon movie Twilight and its supposed follow-up to the vampire saga, Red Riding Hood, because it featured a werewolf. With this film, made as independent, it gives us a view of her style and a sort of Tim Burton-ish look without the “fun” parts, of course.

A sort of personal story and experience turned into film, Thirteen gives us the modern battle of a teenager in a world where everyone thinks that they should be cool, or more so in school. It gives us her frustrations to be cool; where she needs to steal whenever and whatever she wants just to look cool and buy her cool friends new things, and where she constantly tells her mother to stay away aggressively.

I’d like to clear out first that I wasn’t that much impressed with this film, subjectively speaking as the person who created and directed this film, also had a hand in the first Twilight film. But I have to say that the acting was good. From the mother to the daughter, that plays her part, and also, a little bit of liking to the evil friend.

Though it seems that despite having more characters in the film, they were merely forgettable to the point where they are just there to support. Which is even better since the point of the film is showing the breakdown of a teenager, and a little bit of the mother. Ergo, having watched this film proves that the director knows how to manipulate single shot scenes showing dramatic breakdowns of characters. It was that memorable.

But despite a sincere starting film from the director, it feels that it looks like one of those films made for television. I know the independent look helped with its supposed discourse. And with that, this is still an interesting watch, with our director here brave enough to share an insight of her experiences when she was still a kid.


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