In the cruel world of junior high, two friends suffer in a state of anxiety and alienation. Misunderstood by their families and demoralized at school, their fury simmers quietly until an idea for vengeance offers them a terrifying release.
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Reviewed in the United States on November 27, 2018
This film follows the young life of a young boy who is alienated from his parents, his school-mates and to some extent from his own feelings. He has only one friend, a slightly older young teen who is seriously mentally ill but has managed to survive and suppress his growing anger at everyone around him. Under this friend's powerful influence, and without a strong moral compass of his own, the protagonist gets caught up in the planning and execution of an attempted school massacre. While unusual, this theme of young teenaged alienation, anger and self-hatred is a common theme in a number of recent films, but I'm not sure this film brings a lot of new insight into the problem. The acting is good, the storyline unfolds with increasing tension and the ending comes with a question mark. Whether or not it carries a clear moral message remains up in the air.
Reviewed in the United States on February 19, 2020
I'm almost glad that the description of this film didn't reveal much about the plot or I might not have watched it. The brilliant collaboration of actors, directors, a well written script, camera work, and even music are clearly what make this film the gem that it is. In particular, the star, Arman (forgot last name) acts with such authenticity that one feels she's watching a documentary, created by the protagonist, a struggling teen. Arman is not only exquisitely beautiful to watch on camera (and by beautiful I dont just mean the obvious handsome face, but the beauty of his raw emotion), but his ability to draw viewers in is remarkable and rare. The authenticity he brings with him to this film is probably the biggest factor in the success of this film. All the acting is topnotch. The writing is refreshingly realistic, making viewers often uncomfortable sitting in their chairs because we feel as though we're standing in the room with this family as they wrestle through the daily struggles of painful and confusing adolescence. I highly recommend this film. It teaches us all about the complexities of teen depression, lonliness, and bullying, and hopefully in doing so we all become better listeners.
The rising tension through the film is extremely well executed. The acting is okay/good, though the casting, wardrobe, and makeup oddly mismatch the two main characters. I'm not sure whether to complain that the film fails to make a clear point or to applaud that the film avoids easy answers. I think this film is definitely worth seeing, but I also think it is maddeningly close to being far better than it is.
Edwin’s life would have likely been much different had his only friend not been Flake. At a vulnerable point in time someone is influenced to do something he knows he shouldn’t do. The person playing Flake is like a mini Ed Norton. He’s also not in the movie much but he does have an impact on someone who would likely resolve his issues and move on had he found a different friend… which makes for good drama.
This is a must see. So profoundly relevant. A perspective not usually seen but so incredibly poignant and important to experience in order to begin to understand the complexity and dichotomy that can lead to such a heartwrenching and devastating event. Brilliantly directed by Vincent Grashaw with magnificent performances by all.
This is a movie parents and children should watch together and talk about, this head on shows the emotions children deal with and what might lead them down the wrong path, interesting and heart wrenching all at the same time, and gave me a better perspective on the issues and emotions kids face today.
This movie took on a lot of problems. However, it gives good insight into what causes problems for teenagers, from parents to schools lack of discipline and teens exclusions. The world needs to do more.