A group of kids tries to come up with something to do as they hang out around a Boston playground. One of the kids incessantly agitates to play a mysterious game called “Relievio,” but can’t seem to get any takers. Even his attempts to explain the game get shunted aside by his indifferent pals, much to his considerable frustration. And that’s pretty much all there is to this lifeless Boston University student film. A well-intentioned, mostly ad-libbed look at kids at play, “Relievio” starts off slowly and simply never goes anywhere from there.
The five-member team of student directors largely jettisoned their written script while shooting in exchange for just letting the kids be kids. While this adds a nice quasi-urban documentary feel to the film, what story there originally was gets lost in all the confusion of the kids clamoring for attention. In the end, we never find out what “Relievio” is, but that’s okay. Unfortunately, we never really care, and that isn’t
Posted on February 3, 2000 in Reviews by Merle Bertrand
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