BY SARA DARLING
OK I MIGHT BE BIASED, BUT BEACH RATS DOES CONTAIN SOME SERIOUS EYE CANDY!
But it also highlights some 21st issues of coming to terms with your sexuality in a male-dominated world. Boys will be boys in front of other boys, but this film explores what actually turns the lead, Freddie on.
If there is a better time to go and watch a film that is based around a long teenage summer in Brooklyn, the British winter will certainly rival it!
Bored teenagers facing a long hot summer with no money and no jobs, the gang of delinquents spend their time playing handball, lifting weights and working out ways to get girls and drugs. But for the star of the show (Brit newcomer, Harris Dickson) this is a double life.
Seemingly one of the boys, he leers at girls along with the rest of the gang, and even manages to get a date. However it might be a sign when he can't get an erection when his pretty date lets him get that far!
You might think this has something to do with his homelife, where his cancer-ridden dad is living out his last days in palliative care, and his mother and sister know what he is up to, but have little energy to care.
The pace is slow, as the story unfolds, and you actually realise that Frankie is secrectly getting off by flirting with older men in gay chat rooms. Seemingly new to this, you can see he is torn by his desire of male attraction and 'the norm' of dating a girl.
However he seems insistent on following a self-destructive path. We know nothing about his background, but he doesn't seem to have any guidance or passion. The story indicates a selfish teenager who is grasping on to everything that makes him happy- whoever might get hurt in the process.
With no guidance or lust on his behalf, he experiments with sex with lots of older guys, and actually accepts that there is one he seems to like. However the facade of having a girlfriend means he has to lie, which gets him into deeper spiral.
Drugs, parties and stealing from his mother seem like a normal summer, but the tension climaxes when Frankie tries to make excuses for not coming out; This night is pivotal, as he introduces them to his life of gay chat rooms, and attempts to rationalize his bi-curiosity to his gang, with unforgettable consequences...
The stunning cinematography and atmosphere of downtrodden Brooklyn and shabby amusement arcades of Staten Island, make this coming of age film worth watching however old you are.
In cinemas nationwide now.
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