Who’s in the coffin?
Picture it, Ireland 2003, three young lads, Matthew, Kearny and Rez (Dean-Charles Chapman, Finn Cole & Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) are ready to go out into the world and make it their own. They muse about their futures while drinking vodka and popping oxy by the water with their friend Jen (Anya Taylor-Joy). Everything is looking up until they witness a tragic accident that shakes them all to the core.
Unable to articulate their feelings, the boys overcompensate. Matthew throws himself into work at a garage and attempts to date Jen, but not for the right reasons. Kearny takes his hyper-masculinity to Los Angeles where he documents his violent outbursts and thrives with other people who would rather throw themselves into a world of drugs and degradation than see a therapist. And Rez self medicates to try and silence the chatter in his head, but soon discovers that nothing good will come of that.
This movie reinforces the idea that men should be free to express themselves when facing a traumatic event. These young boys are unable to express emotions without going to extremes of violence, drugs and other forms of self-destructive behavior. Without setting boundaries or even talking to each other about what they have gone through, the three leads go on to falling deeper and deeper into an abyss of fire and destruction.
Adapted from a book by Rob Doyle, writer/director Eoin Macken takes us on a cliched summer vacation with three youths as they get thrusted into adulthood way too early and don’t know how to handle it. With pitch perfect acting from the four young leads, who painfully remind us that being a teenager sucks, the film is a slice of life giving us a glimpse into a world of unsupervised youth culture from a time where talking about trauma was about to become more acceptable. This film is a raw exploration into the notion that asking for help is a sign of weakness but in the end it rides home the message that we need to talk about our feelings and not feel any shame asking for help.
Signature Entertainment presents HERE ARE THE YOUNG MEN on Digital 30th April and DVD 10th May
Review – Here Are the Young Men
Reviewed online (screener provided by Signature Entertainment), April 11, 2021. Rating: Cert. 15. Running time: 96 min.
PRODUCTION: (UK) A Signature Entertainment release of a Hail Mary Pictures, Egg Studios, Forton Pictures, Heart of Darkness Pictures, Union Entertainment Group production in association with Glanzrock Productions. Producers: Richard Bolger, Noah C. Haeussner. Executive producers: Paul W.S. Anderson, Conor Barry, Natalia Busquets, Jared Ceizler, Carlos Cuscó, Andrew Davies Gans, Emerson Machtus, Eoin Macken, Michael Raimondi, Gary Shortall, Gareth Young.
CREW: Director/writer: Eoin Macken (based on the novel by Rob Doyle). Cinematography: James Mather. Editing: Colin Campbell. Music: Ryan Potesta.
CAST: Anya Taylor-Joy, Travis Fimmel, Finn Cole, Susan Lynch, Dean-Charles Chapman, Ralph Ineson, Conleth Hill, Emmett J Scanlan, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Lola Petticrew.