Young Adam

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"Everyone has a past. Everyone has a secret."
  • NC-17
  • 2003
  • 1 hr 33 min
  • 6.4  (14,460)
  • 67

Young Adam is a British movie from 2003 directed by David Mackenzie, starring Ewan McGregor, Tilda Swinton, and Peter Mullan. The movie is a dark and moody drama set in Glasgow in the 1950s. The movie follows Joe (Ewan McGregor), a young drifter who works on a barge along with Les (Peter Mullan) and Ella (Tilda Swinton). The mood on the barge is tense, as the three main characters have all got something to hide. Joe is a mysterious character, who seems to have a troubled past and is haunted by some kind of trauma. Les is a domineering figure, who forces his way onto Ella and is abusive towards her. Ella is in a loveless marriage and is struggling to keep her relationship with Les intact.

The central narrative of the movie revolves around the discovery of a dead woman's body in the river which is found by Les and Joe during one of their journeys on the barge. The mystery around the dead woman's identity and how she ended up in the river drives the story forward.

The movie is a slow burn, and much of the tension arises out of the relationships between the characters. The sexual tension between Joe and Ella is palpable, and their growing attraction towards each other creates a sense of danger and excitement. The dynamic between Joe and Les is also complex, and there is a sense of underlying violence and aggression that simmers beneath the surface.

The movie is set in industrial Glasgow, and the city itself plays a significant role in the movie. The bleak, industrial landscape is captured beautifully, and the film has a vivid and realistic feel. The film's muted color palette and atmospheric lighting contribute to the somber, melancholic mood of the movie.

One of the most striking things about the movie is the explicit sex scenes. The sex is frank, raw and sometimes aggressive, and it is difficult not to feel voyeuristic when watching them. However, the sex scenes are integral to the film's themes, as they explore the central relationships between the characters, and the complexities that exist within them.

In conclusion, Young Adam is a dark and complex movie that explores complex themes around sexuality, desire, power, and control. The central performances from Ewan McGregor, Tilda Swinton and Peter Mullan are superb, and the movie is directed with a confident and assured hand by David Mackenzie. The movie is a slow burner, but it rewards patience, and the tension and intrigue build steadily throughout the movie. For fans of arthouse cinema and moody dramas, Young Adam is a must-see.

Young Adam
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 33 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.4  (14,460)
  • Metascore