Named by the British Film Institute as one of the ten best British films of the century, Ken Loach’s Kes concerns Billy, a fifteen-year-old miner’s son whose close bond with a wild kestrel provides him with a spiritual escape from his dead-end life.
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An achingly beautiful tale. The bucolic music and the landscapes wandered by the formidable protagonist child and his trained kestrel, embellish the cold and austere north of England. The child's tender look upon the bird is that of yearning, beyond the predicaments of acceptance raised in his school and in his own home. Its gritty, unapologetic and sometimes despairing naturalism hits delicate fibres.
Childhood as a revolving door of oppression and torment. And though it is most appropriate with the ending it has, I still felt a bit of something of missing. Even still, it is something kids in their teens today could see and identify with; just because you're young doesn't mean your life is any easier than anybody else's, and for some youngsters it's even harder.
I grew fond of the amateur actors, all with the right faces, moves and sounds, I grew fond of their simple lives and the very tough reality they convey, but after all I realized how little it takes to salvage a boy's life from its dooming future and how little it takes to leave it back to where it was. A social commentary, a parable, a neorealist masterpiece.
this is one of the greatest films of all time i believe. very few other people, if any are so able to tap into the spirit of the working class as ken loach. the plot is deceptively simple with one boy and his pet, but loach also takes it to another level. the dialogue, the every day events and the relatable qualities are all pitched to a tee. visually, thematically and emotionally perfect. i love this one.
The audio track on the MGM dvd is brutal! it has a slight muffle at times that makes it difficult to understand what is being said. Couple that with the thick accents and you have a recipe for disaster!!! I generally have no problem understanding 'British accents' whatsoever, but the old dvd of Kes is a struggle. Hope Criterion fix it up.