High school period has a reputation for the intense passions it nurtures and every so often for its unfulfilled love crushes. An ‘era’ when Eros is stirring up the blood, sprinkling the path to maturation with secret yearnings, nostalgia and sentimental turmoil. Guillaume Caramelle catches perfectly the specific mood of this era, achieving a detailed emotional anatomy of the teenager archetypes.
‘Nikki Marianne‘ is the perfect teenage party set-up reflecting back the DNA of a generation. The main character Nikki herself, is the pattern of the hot popular girl anybody would kill for (her true name is Nicole Mary Anne but she calls herself Nikki Marianne; the choice of including 5 names into one is of course interpretable: Nikki is the symbolic matrix of all women matching the same type). She is confident, funny, charming and nonetheless looking for adventure. She is the seductive Eva, the materialisation of a concept that transcends time. Pierre is the example of the young man who has a crush on the killer-teen-woman-best-friend but he is shy and insecure and eventually he is definitely out of Nikki’s league.
Past and future blend together unnoticeable and masterfully in director’s vision and under his guidance, he funnily mirrors back the inner conflict of Pierre who 10 years later has put himself on purpose in the skin of the ‘cougar’s’ – as he himself defines it – meaning he is now the hunter of younger teenage women and has given up the hypostasis of the serious, grave lover hiding behind the statute of a best friend. This is his time now and he is going to avenge all his unfulfilled teenage emotional failures. The projections of his older stance is full of humour and almost ridiculous; he has arrived to be a late adolescent – he got stuck in the past and finds it hard to overcome it.
The film is simply ‘delicious’. The versed actors dedicate themselves faithfully and skilfully to their roles, totally transcending into the skins of their characters. Cinematography is brilliant, enchanting not only through its confident framing but also bringing forth a spectacle of colours unleashed by a capable lighting department while music is tuned in with the context and boosts up the mood and the story is nevertheless appealing, being kept concise within a duration of barely 15 minutes. Guillaume Caramelle’s film is undoubtedly entertaining. His subtle irony exploits the theme with an ‘air détendu’, surfacing the right amount of emotional tension at the right time.
For its fine depicting of the teenager emotional universe and its intelligent humour with which it unveils the contradictions and mismatches stirred by the matutinal Eros, ‘Nikki Marianne’ was awarded the 1st Place for Best TMFF Short Film Of June 2017.