First of all, I have not read the book from which this screenplay was taken. Therefore, I can't review it for accuracy, but I can tell you my feelings about the movie. It's the true story of Brendan Behan, (magnificently played by Shawn Hatosy), a sixteen year old Irish activist on a bombing mission from Ireland to Liverpool during the second world war. He is apprehended and imprisoned in Borstal, A reform institution for young offenders, in East Anglia England. Brendan, a self professed straight guy is forced at Borstal to live day in and day out with those he regarded as "the enemy", and is faced with coming to terms with his feelings for the Irish Republic Army, and his regard for his fellow man. While at Borstal he made a friend "Charlie" who was a gay soldier in the English Navy. Danny Dyer gave a wonderful performance in this role. Their friendship did not come easily, especially given the fact that Charlie was gay and had deep feelings for Brendan, not to mention his loyalty to the English for whom Brendan had low regards. Over time their friendship blossomed, but not as you may have imagined to this point. When given the chance, Charlie returned to the Navy and left Borstal, because he had come to the realization that Brendan would never be his, and their worlds could never co-exist.
Eventually, that all changed and Brendan came to realize the truth about his own feelings, but things might not be so easy for the two of them ever being together. The soundtrack for this film is great. The song "Is this the end of the road" is poignant and fitting for the way the story evolved. I will refrain from going into more detail, as not to give away the whole plot behind this film.
I had high hopes for this movie but those hopes were somewhat dashed mainly due to the poor sound quality, poor lighting and although the dialogue was in English, it was done with very heavy accents which made it very difficult to understand. This is one time I could have used a few subtitles to help follow along. The acting was great, casting was wonderful and I felt all the cast played their roles perfectly. Especially the main two characters. They were also very attractive which added a lot of appeal. I appreciated the fact that the soundtrack did not overshadow the script. Very moving, warm and emotional in every aspect. I really like this film and it is one I will watch over and over again, hoping to grasp more of it's content each time I view it. It is not the story of gay desire, lust, or pure hormones. It is rather the story of love between two characters who didn't expect it. Very thought provoking and leaves the viewer to realize that love is not to be feared, but seized while there is time.
As much as I personally liked the film, and it's leading actors, I felt it could have been a much better production with the proper sound and lighting, and maybe a bit more work on breaking the accents, or at least given a little assistance for those of us who speak Americanized English. 91 minutes long and I was captivated every moment of it. I give the script, casting and superb acting two thumbs up, however due to it's technical flaws, I'm rating it with 4 stars. Very good, but don't expect the quality to be all top notch. I do however recommend "Borstal Boy" for your viewing and hope you enjoy it's message as I did.