In this Icelandic film directed by Baldvin Z, 16 year old Gabriel experiences his first kiss and it gives him the ‘jitters’. The kiss takes place in England while he is on a residential language course to improve his English. When he returns to Iceland, he cannot get the kiss out of his mind. The fact is the person he kissed was another boy, called Markus, and, back in Reykjavik, Gabriel wonders how to continue the relationship.
Markus looks as if he is no longer interested; a scene where he sits kissing a girl at a party while Gabriel sits forlornly nearby is particularly affecting. There is a lot happening elsewhere, though, in this film about teens coming to terms with growing up and away from family. Gabriel acts as the shoulder to cry on for many of his friends but when a friend of a friend tries to get him to sleep with her, he realises that only the kiss from Markus gave him the ‘jitters’. Whatever the future of that relationship, he understands that he is gay.
Atli Oskar Fjalarsson plays Gabriel as a sweet young man who offers support to his friends and expects little in return. His search for love takes second place to the needs of others. The ending is worth waiting for, if only to see if happiness comes his way. Love is where it falls!
‘Jitters’ is in my hinterland. What’s in yours?