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Genesis is your typical two-pronged tale on requited and unrequited love

A still from Genesis.
A still from Genesis. - Postmedia News Service

We will never run out of stories to tell about love. It’s one of the reasons movies continue to exist; that and Marvel. Quebec writer/director Philippe Lesage’s newest has a two-pronged structure that encompasses the masculine and the feminine, gay and straight, requited and unrequited love.

Théodore Pellerin and Noée Abita star as Guillaume and Charlotte, Montreal step-siblings navigating the choppy waters of first love. Guillaume, the younger of the two, attends an all-boys school where his role as class clown hides a vulnerability — and, it turns out, a romantic yearning for his best friend Nicolas (Jules Roy Sicotte).

Charlotte starts the film in a relationship with Maxime (Pier-Luc Funk), but decides she’d be better off dating older guys. It’s a decision that will have terrible repercussions, physical as opposed to her brother’s mental anguish.

 said the story was two-pronged but that’s not quite true. The final 20 minutes the film takes a narrative detour, introducing two younger characters — 12-year-old Félix (Édouard Tremblay-Grenier) and Béatrice (Emilie Bierre) — who meet and begin a chaste romance at an outdoor summer sleep-away camp.

It’s an intriguing story in its own right, but it feels like a narrative cheat; we’re not finished with Charlotte and Guillaume, whom we leave in a precarious state that cries out for closure. But as horseplay among the campers echoes an earlier pillow fight at Guillaume’s school, it seems that Lesage is winding back the clock to suggest that maybe love stories don’t always have to end badly. Or at the very least, they can begin and begin again.

By Chris Knight

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019

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