The road to perdition is paved with drugs, violence, rough sex and loud music in helmer Rene Vilbre’s downbeat Estonian youth pic “I Was Here.” Based on a contempo novel whose subtitle, “The First Arrest,” says it all, this cautionary tale from the producer and screenwriter of last year’s much-admired “The Class,” disappoints in comparison. As depicted here, the downfall of pic’s protag — who reps a generation attracted to fast money but not hard work — comes off as neither tragic, redemptive nor particularly interesting. Unlikely to appeal to cinephiles, pic seems limited to a small seg of the domestic market.
Narrated in v.o. by juvenile delinquent Rass (Rasmus Kaljujarv) as he writes a confession from the slammer, pic follows his heedless progression from occasional errand boy for car thieves to full-time drug dealer. It’s unclear whether his rendez-vous with justice will put him on a different path or merely be the first arrest of many. Mostly night-shot low-budgeter has suitably gritty production values; the young thesps are eye-catching but callow. The late Finnish actor Markku Peltola (“The Man Without a Past”) makes a final cameo as Rass’s father.