Movie Review – Boys Don’t Cry

Posted: May 26, 2013 in Movie Reviews
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I like movies like this, hard hitting human portrayal of things that we wouldn’t even dream of. It’s easy to neglect a person like Teena Brandon. It could even make you yucky when thinking of such act as posing as a different member. I know how extreme the reactions would be because I’ve personally heard from close friend of mine about how his college mate underwent sex change operation. Every time he talks about this topic he starts with a ‘chi’. That’s how irritating it could for others.


But everyone has their own dreams isn’t it. Teena too is someone who has her own dreams. At the time of its release this movie would have been more real. No one would have known Hilary Swank and it’d have been easy for at least some of them to get fooled thinking that she’s a boy. We who know her see her like “wow what a transformation,” instead of getting immersed in the film. Ignorance is a bliss I say.

You can attribute this movie to the character study of an individual who is unsure whether he’s a she or a he. That’s how tough it is to study about a person like Teena. Teena falls in love with Lana. Intially when they show a close up shot of Lana I thought she too is a transgender. She looked ugly for me. Okay people have their own choices. Who am I to decide? Lana too falls for her without knowing that she is a woman.

Once Lana’s friends, a group of junkies, come to know about Teena being a girl they rape her violently and humiliate her in front of others. Being a fan of graphic violence I loved it. The scene was horrific and it provided the impact it has to. Without those two scenes there wouldn’t have been this much impact. But Lana continues to love her no matter what. This could be an example for great love story but as it happens in bizarre situations between bizarre people love is overlooked.

The film severely reminded me of Monster. If I’m asked to choose between these two I can’t choose one. Both had very strong story line and add to sit some memorable performances. Also both these films have lady directors. Accept it or not people of same sex are comfortable working around a sensitive subject. Even if not drastically there is a light amount of gap between both the sexes. Before Monster I knew Charlize Theron as a glam doll who acts well too but the total image of her changed with Monster. Here it’s a different case. I know how good an actor Hilary Swank is. This just adds to the number of stars she holds in her shirt.

The film’s title is as brilliant as it could get. Teena who tries to be a man doesn’t say ‘No’ to anything she considers as manly. A man doesn’t have to do all the manly things in the world if he’s is sure of himself. Teena is so unsure of herself that’s why she accepts to ride behind a vehicle holding only rope, lies about her being a hermaphrodite to Lana, and gets into fight in a club. What starts as thrill gradually takes her identity apart from herself. But when she is bought to police custody, a woman who didn’t cry when she is humiliated in front of the whole gang, raped in a garage cries when being questioned. That’s the maximum she could take and she accepts her defeat. Her idea about a man is, a man is a person who doesn’t cry at any cost. It doesn’t necessarily have to be true. She breaks the ultimate principle she had in life when she is questioned about her identity.

It took five years for the director Kimberly Pierce to pen down the script. Yes it’s a fascination story and one could get easily hooked to. Collecting details wouldn’t have been easy but she being not so famous would have yielded fruit for both collections of details as well as time she could afford. The performances light up the film even if there is certain weak links in the script. I too dream to make a film on transgender. Not a weepy saga or a dramatic film like this one but a film which showcases their daily activities, their sorry and most importantly their happiness. What makes them to commit crimes and indulge in activities they generally do. Making it as a docudrama would be a fairly simple task but weaving a story around is what the challenge is. Let’s see how things shape up.

If you read the Wikipedia page about this movie and go to every link it redirects to you’d learn a great lot of things about varied sexual intricacies. People who would have not liked the concept of the movie could watch it at least for the sex education.


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