Bullied at school and ignored and abused at home by his indifferent mother and older brother, Billy Casper, a 15-year-old working-class Yorkshire boy, tames and trains his pet kestrel falcon whom he names Kes.
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At his best, Ken Loach has a style so unadorned that it seems as if a camera isn't even there, and this is indeed Loach at his best: the brute force of a teen's working-class education played off against the more sensitive way the boy fosters his pet falcon. It's a tender study of thwarted childhood—and it gets away with an ending that shows how much Loach, as a storyteller, could resort to brute force himself.
One of the great coming of age films. Its power comes from its unflinching look at working class life; with sharp social commentary on the nigh pre-determined fates of those neglected by society. Starring non-actors, it has an authenticity that's remarkable & its unsentimental view is refreshing from the overwrought cock & bull blockbusters we get on a weekly basis. Timeless & unforgettable, Kes is one for the ages.
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.