Here Are the Young Men – Film Review

Director: Eoin Macken

Writer: Eoin Macken

Starring: Dean-Charles Chapman, Finn Cole, Anya Taylor-Joy, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Travis Fimmel, and Conleth Hill

Rating: ★★★

Here are the Young Men, which is written and directed by Eoin Macken, takes its name from the song ‘Decades’ by Joy Division. It’s a coming-of-age story about three friends who witness the death of a young girl, a car in a car accident, and all deal with the event in different ways, as it makes the fact that they’re going to die at some point really hit home.

The actual tragedy marks the moment that they are no longer children, which coincides with the end of school for them. They have to go on to live their lives and find their way in the world. They aren’t able to express to each other how they actually feel about the event, beyond that it was shocking. It isolates them. With most of their thoughts being shown to us in an imaginary TV studio rather than the characters actually connecting with each other.

Kearney (Finn Cole) doesn’t let the girl’s death affect him, as he knows that death is inevitable. His character is completely unhinged and he’s on the road to becoming a full-blown psycho, and he knows it. He can’t reveal his true nihilistic thoughts and disturbing lack of empathy to anyone, as he knows how they will react. All the way through the film he’s pushing it further and further, seeing how much he can get away with. It’s the origins of a truly chilling character, and the character arc is the highlight of the film.

Beyond that though the film is a poor attempt at capturing growing up in the early 2000s. It doesn’t really connect until the main plot gets going, and it spends a good twenty minutes meandering before that happens. It does feel that this film is trying really hard to be generation defining, like Trainspotting, but it just doesn’t work. It just doesn’t connect in any poignant way and that side of the film falls flat. What shines is the brilliant performances from the central cast and the demented and broken characters they play. Once you get past the first act the film really does come together and is very engrossing to watch.  

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About ashleymanningwriter

Young Adult Fiction writer. Horror and fantasy blended together.
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