Fanfic (2023)

Fanfic (2023)

NC-17

netflix

A hopeful coming-of-age film that’s a landmark for Polish trans representation

7.2

Movie

Poland
Polish
Drama
2023
FEMALE DIRECTOR, MARTA KARWOWSKA
Alin Szewczyk, Dobromir Dymecki, Helena Sujecka
95 min

TLDR

This film is not really about fanfiction, per se, but it’s a decent start, as the first Polish film with a trans lead portrayed by a transgender actor.

What it's about

While in high school, a student reimagines his life as a Kurt Cobain-esque rockstar in fanfic, while falling in love with the new guy that transferred to their school.

The take

Being made for free, fanfiction is free to play with controversial, less print-friendly concepts like gender-bending your favorite character. This freedom might go into strange territory, but most often than not, writers use fanfiction for escapism or for catharsis of their day-to-day lives. While the film doesn’t delve into fanfiction’s creative process, Polish drama Fanfic does recognize how the genre’s experimentation allows its writers to safely and freely explore different styles of expression, the same way teenage years hopefully do for its viewers. And as Tosiek goes through the trappings of coming-of-age self-discovery, it’s lovely and comforting and cathartic like the stories he writes.

What stands out

Fanfic, like plenty of coming-of-age dramas, has a plot that wouldn’t be out of place in real life. Classroom conversations, scrolling through social media, and of course, typing stories on the internet are fairly mundane activities. Because of this, it’s hard to make the sequences stand out visually. Many viewers are already familiar with the lingering close shots and artfully lit scenes from this genre, and there’s plenty of that here. That being said, Fanfic stands out because of the way it fantastically depicts Tosiek’s inner world. On the fanfiction he writes, his words are typed in floating transparent text, and intercuts to black-and-white backstage scenes that recall the 90s grunge concert photographs in the underground music scene. When he decides to finally express his gender, the film has downright stunning sequences where nearly everything pauses and Tosiek basks in the joy of self-expression. It’s a great approach, and makes Fanfic a cathartic watch.

Comments

Add a comment

UP NEXT 

UP NEXT 

UP NEXT 

Forgotten Love (2023)

The stunning third take of the classic Polish pre-war melodrama

7.7

Residue (2020)

A profound and technically sharp experiment in depicting memory on screen

7.5

The Parades (2024)

Michihito Fujii reimagines a peaceful, communal afterlife in this slice-of-life supernatural drama

7.2

The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)

A star-studded and riveting legal drama with a blockbuster feel.

8.1

The Guilty (2018)

A minimalist, razor-sharp thriller that will have you gasping for air.

9.0

The Zone of Interest (2023)

A chilling and masterful display of the banality of evil

9.5

Monster (2023)

Remarkably sensitive and well-told, this twisty Japanese drama unveils layers upon layers of different truths

9.4

Thank You, I’m Sorry (2023)

Estranged sisters reconnect amidst grief and bizarre comedy in this understated Swedish drama

6.5

Leave the World Behind (2023)

Shyamalan meets Black Mirror in this hugely entertaining, visually inventive apocalyptic thriller with a killer ending

8.2

System Crasher (2019)

A tale of trauma and one of the most talked about movies on Netflix in 2020.

9.0

Curated by humans, not algorithms.

agmtw logo

© 2024 agoodmovietowatch, all rights reserved.