The teenage years are usually when you are at your most adventurous. Whether by trying to get drunk with friends, getting high, or sneaking out to find some action, it remains a period when you are at your most fearless. ‘YOLO!’ as teens would say – You only live once. Try everything, question nothing.
Sixteen-year-old Manuel is your typical teenager. He mostly hangs out with his friends – if not his girlfriend – and plays bass for their small-time band. They hang out at the beach or in the woods, attend class, and play music. It’s very much the average routine for any boy his age, but things start to differ when he begins to feel something more than special for his best friend Felipe.
Manuel’s conflicted feelings are the center of Argentine director Mariano Biasin’s debut feature Sublime, a part of this year’s Generation 14 Plus section at the Berlinale. Coming of age is a theme that has been done, arguably even overdone, in film before. Sublime rises above the crop in this regard because of how everything in it is done in earnest. It makes you feel good without bordering on being cheesy, the conflict comes out naturally, and everything feels wholesome but not soaking in saccharine.