Ricardo Trogi‘s The Year I Became a Liar is a delightful autobiographical Coming-of-Age movie narrated in the first person by its protagonist: 11-year-old Ricardo Trogi (Jean-Carl Boucher). The grown-up Ricardo recalls the story of his childhood utilizing a voice-over narration resembling that of the best Coming-of-Age film of 2015, Cider with Rosie. This approach greatly enhances the likelihood that the viewer will become familiar with the states of mind of the young protagonist and relate to the experiences of his childhood.
Ah…to be taken back to the time when the stories were told to impress girls (or, in some cases, boys), the desire to be accepted was so important and the newest technology (not the new i-Phone, but the miracle of Sony’s first “Walkman”) were the pillars around which one’s life revolved. Such nostalgic aspirations are expected and well served in this autographical movie, turning it into a real gem of the Coming-of-Age cinema genre. It was a time of change or, in Ricardo’s own words:
“…I had no toys. I’d thrown them all away. I was changing. I was getting interested in girls. I needed stuff that was flashy …”
The story is both engaging and authentic from the opening scenes throughout its entire duration. Its charm lies in its apparent simplicity (although older viewers may notice the serious issues of social inequality, consumerism, and, in the case of Ricardo’s parents, the struggle to provide for the family) as well as thanks to the naivety and innocence of the young protagonist’s humorous nature.
When it comes to delightful Coming-of-Age films with original and engaging storytelling – the Canadian cinema, (especially those in the French language) has well established traditions. One just has to recall some of most notable flicks such as the 2012 I Declare War; It’s Not Me, I Swear! (C’est pas moi, je le jure!), Jacob Medjuck’s 2013 film Age of Summerhood and The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet (narrated in first person by its protagonist as well) to realize this fact. The Year I Became a Liar shares some of the best features of these films: first class production design, capable acting, clever editing and a captivating story.
The musical score of The Year I Became A Liar enhances the scenes without calling too much attention to itself. The dialogue is funny and witty at times, and the finale brings in more surprises in the form of an original and fun montage. All-in-all I have no hesitation in recommending The Year I Became a Liar. It’s a heartwarming and original flick well-worth anyone’s time and guaranteed to please viewers of all ages.