5 awesome movies about pre-teen love

If you're an adult now you may often remember your awesome days as an early teenager and how you perceived the world and enjoyed life at that stage. For many of us love dawns to our lives much earlier than the others. Many of you might even remember your first crush, that girl or boy you just looked at and said wow! But let's be frank love hurts, but then it also elevates. We have tried to compile a list of some out-of-the-box, honest pre-teen films that focus on the romance and love at this tender age.

Moonrise Kingdom (2012) 

I have great regards for Wes Anderson as he truly is a genius in his own niche. Anderson loves vibrant colors and most of his films are based on teenagers. Moonrise Kingdom is a love story about Sam and Suzy, who are strange, beautiful, confused and are not happy in their respective homes. It is a love at first sight when Sam straight away asks Suzy " .. and what kind of bird are you?", who is playing as raven on the stage. They eventually decide to run away together seeking refuge on the other shore of the island they live in. Both develop a liking for each other while understanding the frustrations of their current life situations (Sam is orphan while Suzy's parents are on the verge of a divorce). Jared Gilman (Sam) and Kara Hayward (Suzy) have rendered life to their characters on-screen and their chemistry just strikes magic.

Submarine (2010)

Just like a submarine takes you deep down into the remote, lonely ocean, this film is an exploration into the life of Oliver Tate, who meets Jordana by accident and both strike a bond together. The two characters are totally opposite with Oliver being an introvert, self-indulgent youngster and Jordana being a beautiful girl, who is angry and likes to bully others. Oliver, though struggles to keep his promise to be the best boyfriend in the world, while fighting with his own fears and dealing with problems in his own family. He realizes his love for Jordana and is heartbroken in the end.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is an oddly named beautifully acted film that is based on a novel by Stephen Chbosky, who surprisingly is also the director of the film. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a story about Charlie a handsome, smart loner, who is suffering from nervous disorders after his best friend's death. He's into the freshman year of the school and has no friends. He somehow befriends two seniors Emma and Patrick. Charlie slowly falls for Emma, but is unable to express his feelings for her. Both of them struggle to come together as they hop from one relationship to another. Both of them confront each other in the end and confess their true feeling for each other. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a poignant love affair that
makes you remember friendship, love and longing.

Little Manhattan (2005)

"O God!Why did I fall in love?", the truth seems to have transcended early to the 11 years old Gabe, who is also the protagonist of the film. Gabe gets infatuated towards Rosemary in his karate classes and madly falls in love with her in their following meetings. The film beautifully captures the torment and beauty of this one side love from Gabe, who eventually comes to terms with the truth and manages to save the falling apart marriage of his parents.

Baran (2001)

Among all human emotions love is supreme-most because it transforms its recipient. This film from Iran by Majid Majidi, who has always shown us the innocent, truthful side of life in Iran (which is quite contrary to our perception about middle-east) is about hot-headed Lateef, who works at the construction site. Lateef is replaced by Rahmat, a girl disguised as boy and Lateef in spite tries to hurt him. Lateef soon realizes that Rehmat in in fact a girl and feels pity for her. The girl's father is unable to work due an accident and the girl hopelessly switches from one job to another (from lifting stones to serving tea) to make the ends meet. Lateef, who by now has fallen in love with her decides to give his entire savings to her but fate has something else in store for him. Baran, is a true heartfelt love story that reveals the profound ways of Majidi's storytelling.

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (Bir zamanlar Anadolu'da) (2011)

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia by Nuri Bilge Ceylan starts with three men getting drunk together with their voices muted and the viewer guessing the nature of their conversation, only to be followed by a scene with three cars lighting up the desolate steppes of Anatolia, criss-crossing through the roads. This time you see a couple of cops with another hand-cuffed character, the one who was in initial shot but you’re unable to recognize him given the dark. There’s a prosecutor, who is in charge of the investigation, a cop, a doctor, gendarmerie forces, grave diggers, a driver and two suspects, who are also brothers.

                                                         Image Credit: Memento Films

While the commissioner Naci takes the suspect Kenan from one location to another to determine the place where he and his brother buried the victim, Yasar after killing him, the rest of the cast including the doctor, driver and prosecutor reflect on the times. Given the dark and his drinking Kenan is unable to locate where he had buried the victim, while the prosecutor unravels to the doctor a peculiar case in which a beautiful woman predicts her death five months in advance and dies after giving birth to a child.

Frustrated and riddled by the search, the team decides to visit a nearby town. They are treated well at the mayor’s house where his beautiful daughter gets everyone’s attention. The girl evokes different emotions in the characters while they are stupefied by her beauty. The doctor tries to get more details from prosecutor about the woman he was talking about as he gets suspicious about obscure nature of her death. The prosecutor tells that it was heart attack and doctor points that there are certain drugs that can actually trigger it. The prosecutor in the end confesses to the doctor that it was no one else but his own wife who found him with another woman and lingers as to how she killed herself to punish him for the rest of his life. At this point Kenan breaks down and tells that the victim’s son is actually his biological son and that he killed Yasar after a fight that ensued after the truth slipped off his tongue.

The following day they continue their search. Kenan is in his senses and is able to tell the exact location. The body of victim is not covered entirely with a part of his head out of the grave. There’s a dog sitting on top his grave who has possibly tried to dig his grave. It is difficult to tell if it is the same dog that victim feeds in the initial shot. They find the victim completely tied up to which Kenan reasons that they did so in order to fit him in the car. The prosecutor makes his report and the corpse is handed over to the doctor to carry out the autopsy.

                                                          Image Credit: Memento Films

While doing autopsy the doctor finds out that there is dirt in his lungs pointing to the fact that he was buried alive, perhaps the reason why he was tied up so badly. While the truth eludes the prosecutor as well as the commissioner, the doctor decides to hide the fact in the report glancing from his window at the son and the widowed wife of the victim walking down the steppe.

The film comprises of long shots and takes time to get into the nature of its characters. While Naci is a worn out police officer troubled by condition of his son, who has some ailment, doctor Cemal is divorced and reflective, the prosecutor Nusret is self-confident and guilty (for causing his wife’s death unconsciously), while the driver is only worried about making money from the whole affair. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia lingers on a number of themes, one being the problems the young ones have to face as a result of sins committed by elders and another being how women become the reason for people committing heinous crimes. The movie demands patience as well as attention from its viewers, something that would help them to better understand the characters. The film won Jury Grand Prize at the Cannes.

The Kid with a Bike (Le gamin au vélo) (2011)

I don’t think Dardenne brothers have ever committed the sin of trying to impress the audience, to mystify them, or for that matter to wow them. They make films with simple narratives but focus more into deciphering the characters in their movies and the emotions they’re going through. The Kid with a Bike (Le gamin au vélo) is another such attempt by the duo that has made movies in the past on adolescent themes, such as Le fils and L’enfant.

The Kid with a Bike portrays the anguish of a 12 years old, Cyril, who is unable to come to term with the fact that his father has abandoned him. The film begins with Cyril ruthlessly searching for his father only realizing that his father has abandoned him leaving no address or phone number so that he cannot contact him. Unable to come to terms with the truth he continues to look for him.

Meanwhile, he meets compassionate Samantha, who helps him get his bike back, which his father had put up for sale. She organizes Cyril’s meeting with his father, who finds himself stuck with his son and wants to move on, though he’s unable to tell him the same.  Samantha finds motherly love for Cyril, a motherless child whose father wants him away.

                                                   Image Credit: Centre du Cinéma

The story gives some insight in to the character of Cyril as of how easily he befriends ‘The Dealer’, a guy who uses the likes of Cyril to steal and smuggle. Cyril, even though being intelligent enough falls in his trap as he’s looking for another friend, a father like figure. After hurting few people Cyril realizes as to what he has done and feels regret. He reconnects to Samantha and expresses his desire to live with her permanently. The anguished child seems to come to terms with the truth and decides to move on in the end.

The Kid with a Bike is another heartfelt story by Dardenne brothers that has brilliant performance by Thomas Doret, playing Cyril. The film won Grand Prize at Cannes and was named as the best foreign language film by the National Board review in 2012.