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Ben X


Stars: Greg Timmermans, Laura Verlinden, Pol Goossen, Marijke Pinoy

Director: Nic Balthazar

A striking but truly grim Belgian film about an autistic teenager (Timmermans) who, unmercifully bullied at school, where he is bright but a complete misfit, finds refuge in his early morning sessions on a video game in which he is a fearless warrior, accompanied by the bewitching Scarlite (Verlinden).

Adift and helpless, Ben's life outside video is a walking misery. Tragedy beckons and possibly happens in a number of events towards the end of the film that may or may not be figments of Ben's fevered imagination.

It's almost as tough for us to watch all this as it is for Ben (terrifically played by Timmermans) to endure, especially with so little light and shade in the story.

David Quinlan

Belgium 2007. UK Distributor: Momentum. Colour by dejonghe.
93 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 24 Aug 2008