Writer: Eliza Hittman (Screenplay)
Starring: Harris Dickinson, Madeline Weinstein, Kate Hodge, Neal Huff, Nicole Flyus, Frank Hakaj
Plot: A Brooklyn teenager spends his days experimenting with drugs and looking online for older men to meet with.
Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Brave and Bold
Story: Beach Rats starts as we head to Brooklyn and meet teenager Frankie (Dickinson) who spends his time hanging around with his friends, while being fascinated with fitness, drugs and trying to learn about his own sexuality.
As Frankie continues his questioning about himself we learn that he does search the internet for older man to hook up with, but in his personal life he starts trying to date Simone (Weinstein). We are eft to see if he can figure out what he wants and whether he can embrace his true sexuality in a world where he believes he would be shunned.
Thoughts on Beach Rats
Characters – Frankie is a teenager, he spends his time with his gang on the beaches of Brooklyn, working on fitness and diving into drug usage. He is confused about his own sexuality, he spends time searching for men on the internet, but starts dating a girl on front of his friends. This character shows how difficult it can be for a young man accepting what he wants in fears of his friends and family not accepting his choice. Simone is the girl that Frankie starts dating, she is portrayed to be a common girl just looking for love without ambitious to be overly successful in the career side of things. Donna is the mother of Frankie, she is dealing with a lot as her husband is losing his battle with cancer and seeing Frankie acting strangely only concerns her, with his late nights out.
Performances – Harris Dickinson does give us a bold, brave powerful performance for his first-time outing in a leading role, you can see the confliction his character is feeling in every scene. The rest of the performances are great too as the stars are happy to let Harris take the spotlight he and the character requires.
Story – The story tackles the subject of a teenager reaching adulthood who needs to face his own sexuality when he has no one in his own life that could offer him advice or is unsure what his friends and family will think of his decision. This could easily be real for young men this age, it would always be difficult to admit the truth if you thought you could be shunned by your own friends for not accepting your choice. The story is brave step into the world, but is not going to be for everyone as this isn’t a gentle evening viewing.
Settings – The Brooklyn setting adds to the hardship Frankie is dealing with because he is always around what he believes to be tough guys who wouldn’t accept his choice.
Final Thoughts – This is a powerful drama about learning about your sexuality, it has a stunning debut performance, but this film isn’t going to be for everybody as it is too intense in places for a casual viewing.
Overall: This is a powerful film, it deserves the praise it is receiving.