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July 28, 2008 | by  | in Film | [ssba]

Boy A

Directed by John Crowley

Boy A is a product from the exotic shores of England. The movie follows 25-year old Jack, trying desperately to rehabilitate himself back into mainstream society after being released from prison for murdering his classmate when he was 10. Understandably, it’s a difficult task, made even more so by the fact that the entire media is crying out for his reincarceration.

Throughout the film, you get the feeling that Jack is one backwards individual. What was once the antithesis of childish simplicity has grown into someone overwhelmed by society, desperately craving love and acceptance. But that’s not to say that the actions of his youth are gratuitous. On the contrary, through the flashbacks of his childhood the reasons for what he did become all too clear, to the point where you’re left wondering what alternative there was to his situation.

Andrew Garfield plays the protagonist almost seamlessly, turning what could have come across as a needy drain on society into someone who is brutally and achingly human. He creates such a strong sense of empathy with his character that his actions become compellingly predictable. As a result, you’re left questioning yourself and the sense of common decency you’ve had drummed into you from early childhood.

The film revolves largely around the exploration of human behaviour. Rather than questioning the reasons behind Jack’s crime, you realise that what he did was a basic example of human nature. It also shows the importance of basic emotional needs and, more to the point, how easily people just crumble if these aren’t met. This aspect is often overlooked by such films, although it is one of the most crucial obstacles concerning rehabilitation. This movie addresses it head-on, with slightly disturbing results, posing some pretty intense questions about the importance of social relationships.

For all Boy A’s merits, it does drag painfully in places. It’s slow to get off the ground, and you get the feeling that a lot of the scenes are there for the sole purpose of making the film featurelength. So, if you have an attention span that tends to wane after 5 minutes, you’d probably want to give it a miss. But if you find yourself in need of a little self-reflection, I suggest you check this movie out.


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  1. Bessy says:

    Very informative article! I’ll definitely be checking this movie out!

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