Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Here Are The Young Men Review: An All Star Cast Cannot Overcome A Strange Story

Release date: April 27, 2021
Running time: 96 minutes
Director: Eoin Macken
Writers: Rob Doyle (novel), Eoin Macken (screenplay)
Stars: Dean-Charles Chapman, Finn Cole, Anya Taylor-Joy, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, and Travis Fimmel

Dublin teenagers Matthew (Chapman), nihilistic Rez (Walsh-Peelo), and the deranged Kearney (Cole), leave school to a social vacuum of drinking and drugs, falling into shocking acts of transgression.  But their summer intertwines them with each other and their class mate Jen (Taylor-Joy), shaping their lives by the choices tha tthey make.

Here Are The Young Men tells a confusing story, but at least one with good acting.  I liked the three main characters and their very different personalities.  Chapman is more brooding and timid in the group, Cole is charismatic and unpredictable, and Walsh-Peelo is sort of a wild card poet; he sometimes has insights but also often times is quiet.  But Taylor-Joy was the star of this show with her confident and outspoken Jen.  She was fun to see as someone who has plans and a strong personality that did not fall into normal coming of age tropes.  

And Here Are The Young Boys has some really good music to accompany these characters on their summer journey.  The soundtrack of the parties and more surreal experiences does help to sell the story and some of the high energy scenes.  And the story is a strange one, mixing real world events with different surreal and imagined moments as the trio work through their various issues.  This storytelling device keeps you guessing at what is real and what is not, leading to some of the more surreal aspects of this film.

But Here Are the Young Men evolves from a main traumatic event, and that event just doesn't have much gravity.  These young men are all supposed to have been shaped by this, but the actual event seemed to occur too quickly and without a good emotional hook to the characters and the story.  And the story itself is a little disjointed because it is told through both real world and surreal sequences.  Sometimes these meld together, which can lead to trouble determining when one stopped and the other started.  And this confusion does hurts the ability to follow the story when you are sometimes guessing what is real and what is not.  Plus there seems to be timeline issues with the story as some long events seem to happen quickly.  And finally, the film just does not leave you with a satisfying ending.  There is something that wraps up the story, but it just seems rushed and convenient; something quick to end the film and tie up any loose ends.  And this is all really a shame as I love this cast!

Here Are The Young Men has a great cast and some complex characters, but the story itself is too hard to follow, doesn't have the emotional weight it is supposed to, and wraps up with an unfulfilling end to the summer.

Pass on it.

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 Here Are The Young Men is available digitally, and on demand on April 27, 2021.  

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