Christophe Charrie is the writer and director of the intimate and very clever drama I AM JONAS, now on NetFlix. We are mystified and intrigued by how shy teenage Jonas' became a bashed adult. The material comes to life in a confident telling.
Nicolas Bauwens plays young Jonas, withdrawn to a fault. When Nathan (Tommy-Lee Baïk) befriends him, the arc of his life is forever changed. Félix Maritaud is the older Jonas, now battered and tatted and homeless. Marie Denarnaud and Aure Atika are the mothers who try to guide their boys as they become men. They provide lovely balance to the cruel adolescent world.
Baïk is very intriguing in dual roles, which - along with hair and makeup by Philippe Arque and Valérie Tranier - are carefully detailed.
We struggle to know the truth in each of the timelines, but they entwine in a powerful conclusion. The film reminded me of other works that stitch together tiny pieces of cloth in a quilt of past and present.
Pierre Baboin's cinematography is excellent, well-matched by Alex Beaupain's score.
Although initially made for TV, I AM JONAS stands strong on its own.