Director: Eoin Macken
Writer: Eoin Macken (Screenplay) Rob Doyle (Novel)
Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Travis Fimmel, Susan Lynch, Finn Cole, Dean-Charles Chapman, Ralph Ineson, Conleth Hill, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo
Plot: Dublin teenagers Matthew, nihilistic Rez, and the deranged Kearney, leave school to a social vacuum of drinking and drugs, falling into shocking acts of transgression.
Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Here Are the Young Men starts as we meet the three Dublin teenagers Matthew (Chapman), Kearney (Cole) and Rez (Walsh-Peel) who have finished school and are spending their days causing troubles around the town with their drinking and smoking.
After the three see a traumatic event, Matthew looks to try and get his life back on track with Jen (Taylor-Joy) looking to escape the life he has created, while seeing his friends fall not their own holes of madness.
Thoughts on Here Are the Young Men
Characters & Performances – Matthew is a teenager just out of school where his teachers believed he could have achieved something, but his friends are causing him to waste his potential. He starts dating Jen and after a traumatic experience, he wants to try and find something more from his life, as he sees what the future is offering his two best friends. Dean-Charles Chapman does gives us a great performance of a young man that is starting to feel lost to the system he has wanted to escape from. Kearney is the deranged friend that has a twisted sense of enjoyment in his life, he will look to break every law in the book, imagining his own life filled with violence and drugs. Finn Cole does make a threatening figure for a young man that doesn’t know how to hold back. Rez is the part of the friends that is suffering from depression, he is struggling with the confidence to take on the next stage of his life, needing his friends to keep him safe. Ferdia Walsh-Peelo does give us a character that does feel isolated in the group of friends, the one that can feel like the outsider along the way. Jen is the girl that hangs out with the boys, she starts spending more time with Matthew but her own position of not knowing her future can be reflected on the guys too. Anya Taylor-Joy is good in this role, giving us one of her most grounded roles in her young film career.
Story – The story here follows three school friends that finish school and find themselves drawn into a world a drinks and drugs, where one starts to look at his own life and how he could put things back on track, while his friends violent side becomes more apparent. This story does manage to mix the difficulties of growing up post school, where you don’t know what will happen next in your own life, with friendships that are drifting apart from each other because the actions are only showing horrific side effects. This will show just how people change, some for the better, some for the worse and other just need help, leaving school will change everyone’s life no matter what they thought.
Themes – Here Are the Young Men is a coming of age drama that will show us just how difficult the time after school is before finding a job role, it shows us how life can happen quickly and while you need to have fun, you can’t go too far with actions. Using the Dublin backdrop to show the limited chances they have.