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[FILM REVIEW] Boy Erased is important, relevant, and beautiful

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[FILM REVIEW] Boy Erased is important, relevant, and beautiful

Boy Erased is important, relevant, and beautiful.

Boy Erased is important, relevant, and beautiful.

Taken from http://www.focusfeatures.com

Boy Erased is important, relevant, and beautiful.

Taken from http://www.focusfeatures.com

Taken from http://www.focusfeatures.com

Boy Erased is important, relevant, and beautiful.

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In early November, the film Boy Erased was quietly released in theatres. The film is inspired by the true story of Garrard Conley, a gay man who was sent to conversion therapy as a teenager. The film takes its name from Conley’s memoir from 2016 about his story and experiences. While the film takes some artistic liberties to the plot, the messages and story are certainly not lost.

If you are ready for an emotional and tough-to-get-through film, however, by all means, see this movie. It is important, relevant, and beautiful.”

The film’s protagonist, Jared (some of the names of characters in the film have been changed from the people they are based on, such as Jared from Garrard), is the son of two Baptist parents and is brought to a conversion therapy camp after being outed to his family. After spending time at the camp and talking to his fellow attendees, the conversion therapy program begins to reveal itself as the harmful torture device that it really is. The program has devastating effects on its attendees, with many being brought against their will and being forced to live at the camp. The film details the awful things many people in conversion therapy had to and still have to endure, ranging from violent language to physical abuse and beating. Throughout the film, Jared tries to convince his family about the truth about his sexuality and about the conversion program.

The film stars Lucas Hedges (Lady Bird, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) as Jared, Nicole Kidman (Lion, Big Little Lies) as his mother, and Russell Crowe (Les Misérables, The Mummy) as his father. All three have excellent performances that perfectly portray the loving yet strained family dynamic. The film is written and directed by Joel Edgerton, who also plays the lead therapist in the film. Other actors in the film are Joe Alwyn, Xavier Dolan, Troye Sivan, Cherry Jones, and Flea.

The film conveys many real aspects of conversion therapy, a practice still legal and practiced in many states. While it was quite difficult to watch at times, it made the poignant messages even more powerful. The struggles between the family members are also shown very well. While there are very few lines about the family in the script relative to other topics, the lack of dialogue seems to make the story even more apparent by leaving the audience to piece things together to figure out what is happening. This is only helped by the stunning performances of the three family members.

While it was quite difficult to watch at times, it made the poignant messages even more powerful. ”

The messages of this film need to be heard by everyone, even if not through this one film. The film is rated R and is certainly not for everyone. If you are sensitive to violent actions, language, and rape, this film may not be for you, although it would be good for everyone to do some more research and take action about conversion therapy. If you are ready for an emotional and tough-to-get-through film, however, by all means, see this movie. It is important, relevant, and beautiful.

 

Rating:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐5/5

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About the Writer
Rylan Hefner, Interactive Storytelling Team

Rylan Hefner is a member of the Interactive Storytelling Team on the RubicOnline. This is his second year on staff. He is eager to explore working with...

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