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
This film tackles the eternal issue of growing up a teenager and the extreme reactionary responses we see growing at an alarming rate in our contemporary times. Some of the events in this movie could easily have been plucked from the headlines of the newspapers in recent years. It does an excellent job of tacking the touch issues of adolescence, guns in schools, and school administrators being completely oblivious to what is really going on in their hallways.
With an intense lead performance by Ben Foster, as the singled out teen, and Thomas Cavanagh, as the teacher trying to get through to both the school administration and its students, the story propels you through a whirlwind series of events over the course of a school year. The theme of the story is very dark and powerful painting a picture of the worst case possible scenario public school; which in my opinion may be closer to the truth then people want to really admit, making the story that much more believable.
I really feel that this is a film to be watched and appreciated because, unless you're in total denial, it's going to make you think more about the ideas and issues that inspired it. This is a movie for all to watch. Everybody goes to high school.
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