An average guy of an Estonian high-school decides to defend his bullied classmate. This starts war between him and the informal leader of the class. As teenagers' honour is a touchy thing, everything ends in bloodshed.
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For the most part it's a tale of an adolescent, Trevor, who gets picked on a lot at school. Not as much as he used to, because the year before he called in a phony bomb threat, complete with a working bomb (minus anything that would actually explode). Because of this, parents and teachers are afraid of him, and his fellow students generally avoid him, except for a group of outcasts called the "Trogs". As violence by the Jocks against the Trogs escalates, Trevor is the suspect for anything gone wrong, even though he didn't necessarily do anything. One teacher is willing to give Trevor the benefit of the doubt, and casts him in a highly controversial play about (what else?) school shootings. It all comes to a head as some other students create a plan to bring guns to school and kill everyone in the cafeteria. Written by
I just saw this movie at the Seattle International Film Festival. This wonderful film honestly explores the factors that lead teenagers to become violent. Seeing the experience of high school culture through Trevor's eyes really makes you understand what could bring a teenager to kill his/her classmates. This film vividly portrays how high school culture has gotten out of hand during the past 20 years, and also shows how complex the problem is. The blame is never placed entirely on one party (i.e. the parent, school administrators, fellow classmates). Instead, the film remains honest to subject matter, and does not provide any easy answers or solutions.
Is this movie unsettling? Yes. Brilliantly executed? Yes. Exploitative and simplistic? No. This is a film that should be seen in every high school classroom, every faculty meeting, and every home.
On a side note, the acting was fantastic by everyone involved. Most notable was Ben Foster, who portrays Trevor with both brutal honesty and heartfelt compassion. He is one to keep on eye on in the future.
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