15 May 2011

Movie Review: Thirteen (2003)

Tracy (Evan Rachel Wood) is a modest, innocent girl who has a good relationship with her mother, Melanie (Holly Hunter). She [Tracy] is a straight A student going through tough times in her life. She cuts herself up to "ease the pain" brought about by a broken family and hatred for her mother's boyfriend, Brady (Jeremy Sisto). 

Tracy meets Evie Zamora (Nikki Reed) in school and here we see how the two are exactly opposites- Tracy in a blouse and Evie with her skin tight clothes and pierced belly. Evie gives off that look that makes the boys swoon and the girls jealous. She shoots Tracy one look and ignores her. The latter being at that point in her adolescent teenage life wherein she has a strong need to fill a gap and feel that sense of belongingness and acceptance, steals a purse full of cash and suddenly, she's in with the popular girls.

Makeup, skanky clothes and numerous body piercings transform Tracy's look from a promising student to a person who goes tumbling down Evie's world- taking in drugs, sex and crime and for what, self-destruction?

Eventually, Tracy becomes the enemy of herself. Even her relationship with her mother goes flushing down the drain. At the end of the film, when Mel finally comes full circle and helps her daughter, we are left with that horrible and somewhat touching feeling that these two girls have seen each other in themselves.

Thirteen is not your typical teen movie. It's a realistic documentary-like film about trying to fit in the walls of high school. I know that not everyone goes through this phase and in fact, most of us fit in smoothly. But also, truth of the matter is, these things are going on- kids rebel and are curious of the dark side. The mostly shows the audience what the world is like in the eyes of a teenager in angst and how there is only ONE way to be and if you're not in that way, you have no means of survival- you have nothing, or you are nothing.

The film is nothing but frank and honest. It's dark, terrifying and horrible and it scared the shit out of me. Nevertheless, it is captivating- keeping me engrossed at all times. It doesn't hurt that an amazing cast delivers the message out into the world.

When I saw this film, I was a little too young to be exposed to this kind of world as I knew nothing about it. But I guess that gave me a positive outcome in life because I said, I would never ever do this to myself. The film had such a big impact on me. A definite must watch. A story you will never forget. 

Thirteen is rated R for drug use, self destructive violence, language, sexual content according to the MPAA
Running time is 95 minutes
I rate it 5 stars out of 5
Click for for list of cast and crew (including trivia, quotes, etc)

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