Decked out in neon or not, adolescence remains adolescence, and Ricardo epitomizes it perfectly! Didn’t catch 1981? That won’t diminish your enjoyment of Ricardo’s odyssey towards autonomy and freedom. The trials of his teenage years aren’t so much personal as they are mythic. Haven’t we all found ourselves, at one point or another, in an impossible situation, with no sense of a way out or what comes next? We find Ricardo determined to make a buck, flanked by his flashy, fun-loving friends, undergoing all manner of adventures which don’t always end in total success. From his first job, found for him by his father, to the end-of-year exam that he’s wracking his brain for, on to that first sexual experience that can’t happen soon enough and missions to infiltrate bars despite being underage, everything’s there to trigger memories of the excitement of that time in life, and the sweet illusion that came with it: the conviction to outdo one’s parents. Ricardo, as endearing as in 1981, leads us in recalling those disorienting days at the end of high school, invoking a spectrum of emotions without ever tumbling into caricature.
1987, just like 1981, is an autobiographical work by Ricardo Trogi, the filmmaker who charmed so many when he participated in the legendary series COURSE DESTINATION MONDE 95-96. He went on to direct QUÉBEC-MONTRÉAL in the early 2000s, followed by HORLOGE BIOLOGIQUE — two key films in the evolution on Quebec cinema. With 1987, Trogi works wonders at recreating an era in a generous and effective fashion. A big chunk of the budget went to securing music rights to tunes of the time, amplifying the enjoyment of this time-travel back to the ’80s. The cast Trogi assembled is top-notch: Jean-Carl Boucher, as decent and moving as ever, and the young actors surrounding him, never to mention Ricardo’s on-screen parents, played perfectly by Sandrine Bisson and Claudio Colangelo. Seeking something fun to do, something entertaining AND intelligent? Your number is up, and it’s 1987.
— Isabelle Gauvreau