Griffin in Summer Review India
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“I will turn 15 in a few days,” Nicholas Colia’s teen protagonist Griffin Nafly (Everett Blunck) can’t wait to grow up. The lad’s passion is such – he writes performance theatre. Griffin in Summer opens with a solo stage act by the guy which invites feeble applause. Griffin is an adult in his head. He dresses up like a grown man, the knickers included. Griffin expects discipline and quiet from all quarters. He treats his friends as colleagues. An art nerd of the impossible kinds, the boy’s eventful summer takes a turn when he meets Brad (Owen Teague) – a sexy worker whom his mother hires to fix a bunch of things at home.

Griffin in Summer is a film that is proud of its protagonist’s flaws. Right from the beginning, we know the boy lives to actualize his dreams. Griffin wouldn’t want to be a part of anyone else’s story. Not even Brad’s for whom he develops a massive crush. Griffin wishes Brad, his friends, and his mother to be catalysts in his journey to glory. He would want them to cheer from the aisles when the guests at a professional theatre space break into thunderous applause. Griffin’s apologies and never from the heart. He undervalues the compromises his friends make so they can accommodate his passion into their lives. So much so that he is reluctant to share poster space with his actors.

Character flaws aside, Griffin never becomes an object of our hate. It’s got so much to do with Blunck’s disarming, full-tooth smile which springs to microseconds to go off in no time. The remarkable actor that he is, Griffin in Summer stands ably on his young shoulders – making us empathize and relate to his deeds and misdeeds. Nicholas Colia’s writing lets us be on his side and not on those who he wrongs. Owen Teague’s Brad – the mysterious, alcoholic performer – remains a tad distant throughout. Before one would want to develop an interest in his life, the film throws us off guard. It is not to say that Teague isn’t good, he certainly is. It is the eccentric characterization (coupled with the excessive focus on Griffin) that never lets him strike a chord. Kathryn Newton, who plays his girlfriend, Chloe, gets a more coherent and exciting part despite the briefness of her part. The familial issues are way too generic to be of any interest. However, it is good to learn that the boy takes inspiration from his surroundings to craft what is a rousing play on adult issues.

Screened at Tribeca 2024, Griffin in Summer is an easy watch. It’s funny and emotional and it keeps you glued if you overlook minor pace dips in the third act. The actors are lovely and the dialogues, especially those by the main lead, bring home a sense of relatability, making Nicholas Colia’s debut fare a breezy day watch.

Rating: ★★★★

About Post Author

Tusshar Sasi

Author at Filmy Sasi
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