"Rough Content in a Sad, Depressing Tale"
What You Need To Know:
BOY A is a sensitive but ultimately depressing British movie about the effects of a brutal crime on human beings. Based on a novel, it is marred by plenty of strong foul language, strong sexual content, brief nudity, and a fatalistic worldview.
(HH, C, B, Ho, LLL, VV, SS, NN, AA, DD, MM) Depressing depiction of a humanist world that apparently has rejected Christian notions of forgiveness and redemption, plus reference to past homosexual rape; about 78 mostly strong obscenities, eight strong profanities and two light profanities; strong violence includes two fights with lots of kicking on one person in each, boy cuts each of girl’s arms with box cutter and then drags her under a bridge as she screams in a scene of implied murder, a possible suicide, implied hanging by gang of young men or older teenagers against another young man, boy snags eel with a nail and bashes eel against another object, and two young men help a little girl who has been in a car accident with her parent; depicted fornication in two scenes and implied fornication, plus two young teenagers are seen kissing in a park and boy tells another boy he has been repeatedly sodomized by his brother; brief upper female nudity in two scenes and some upper male nudity; alcohol use and drunkenness; smoking and young man slips an Ecstasy into two other young men’s drinks and they drink it without questioning what it is, causing one young man to act strangely; and, apparent lying, vigilante justice, vandalism, shoplifting, two boys play hooky from school, boy watches another boy hurt a girl and drag her under a bridge (where he killed her) but doesn’t do anything to stop his friend who later apparently accused him, young man betrays his father out of jealousy, and parents of another boy appear to be neglectful.
BOY A is a sensitive but depressing British movie about the effects of a brutal crime on human beings. Based on a novel, it is marred by plenty of strong foul language, strong sexual content, brief nudity, and a fatalistic worldview.
Eric Wilson is a young man who has just been secretly released from prison after spending years there serving time for the brutal murder of a girl that he may or may not have committed when he was a boy. The second boy involved in the murder committed suicide, though a flashback shows that he was actually hanged by some vigilantes.
Eric has apparently been rehabilitated, though his memories of what led up to the killing still haunt him. His social worker, Terry, hides his identity and gets Eric, who’s now calling himself Jack, a delivery job.
The movie shows flashbacks of what led Eric to become buddies with the other killer, who probably was the one really responsible for the murder. Meanwhile, Eric seems to truly be able to start a new life, making friends with a co-worker and falling in love with a young woman working in the office. Also, Terry, the social worker, renews his relationship with his wayward but lazy son. Local tabloids, however, are hot on the trail of Boy A, the name given Eric while he was on trial as a youngster, to hide his identity.
This movie is very well acted. The filmmakers succeed at making Eric’s story sympathetic but they have a depressing, fatalistic ending. They hint, however, that British society has become devoid of Christian notions of redemption and forgiveness. In fact, in one shot, a discarded statue of the Virgin Mary is shown rotting away in the woods. Even so, they don’t explore this provocative theme as strongly as they could have done. They do, however, strongly imply that the behavior of Eric and his angry friend when they were young was caused by abuse and neglect, including the evils of homosexual lust.
BOY A has lots of strong foul language and some strong violence. There are also has some strong sex scenes between Eric and his girlfriend, who eventually are on the verge of getting married. Those scenes include brief nudity. This content and the movie’s other mature themes warrant extreme caution.