Here are the Young Men – What Being a Real Man Means

REVIEW/NATION
by Marina Shchelokova
27.03.2021
Summer after school. "A final summer of freedom when you become a man". That's when the action of Eoin Macken's Here are the young men (2020) kicks off.
Having escaped the mundane clutches of education, three best mates enter a social vacuum of drinking and drugs. They're reckless, seem to be ready to spit in the eye of the world. Hungering for something real, young tearaways try to step out of the fictional universe of violent video games, TV shows and Internet porn.

What is to be a real man? Ideas of masculinity in the movie revolve around aggression, control and misogyny. Dropping pills in a church, smashing up a classroom, trashing a teacher's car, fighting in a club and looking for a hookup are the only proof of adulthood and independence Matthew, Kearney and Rez are able to find. These actions along with the scene of the funeral in the beginning make the viewer anticipate tragedy.

The first hit comes at unawares. The dark crawls to the surface of neon lights and carelessness. It is not seen until it's too late. The party of life soon turns sour after the lads witness death. A girl gets knocked down by a car.
Common traumatic experience makes discord between friends obvious as it drags out the worst, or better to say, the deepest hidden, in them. As "alpha" male Kearney (Finn Cole) finds power in violence, withdrawn Rez (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) shuts himself even more scared of his own numbness and emotionlessness. Matthew, sensitive as his newly acquired girlfriend Jen (Anya Taylor-Joy) likes to call him, gets burnt out by the repressed emotions and inner conflict between friendship and morals.
Kearney is definitely a person of interest as it is his sadistically charged doings that push the action of the movie forward. An Authoritarian father who by cliche seats on the sofa and demands more beer is certainly a source of trauma. Being constantly called not manly enough, Kearney becomes a representation of toxic masculinity. His summer trip to "America'' (the USA, apparently) is shown in voice-overs of e-mails and episodes of a comedy TV-show with him as a guest. Through the implications it is apparent he's up to no good. But just as Matthew, the viewer is reluctant to admit he will go this far.

Deeply deranged, Kearney chooses to film the most reprehensible aspects of his thrill-seeking life. There's rape, physical abuse and most likely murder. After the return, Kearney continues to seed destruction. His definition of fun seems to be inadmissible for Matthew yet he's manipulated by "you're my best mate" revelations.

Jen is a key figure for the resolution of the story. Being the mouthpiece of common sense, she is somehow edgy, spiced by the charisma of an actress. Her relationship with Matthew starts as a true picture of young love, however, grows into the vessel of his Kearney drama. Pouring anger out on Jen, Matthew gets closer to admitting the responsibility for his choice of friends.

"He was trying to rape me and you did nothing," – the conversation that changes everything. Matthew sees clear as ever that Kearney brings disaster. Trying to get confessions out of him, all Matthew hears is sexist phrases about deceitful nature of women and their lust. There is no other way around.
Matthew sets things right to the extent of right they can possibly be. Club, beer, poison, church. It's Kearney's funeral we're about to witness. Matthew tries to reach his own sense of right and wrong and makes up for his choices. He steps into adulthood shaking hands with his teacher and realizing there's so much more to it than freedom.
 
Here are the Young Men – What Being a Real Man Means

REVIEW/NATION
by Marina Shchelokova
27.03.2021
Summer after school. "A final summer of freedom when you become a man". That's when the action of Eoin Macken's Here are the young men (2020) kicks off.
Having escaped the mundane clutches of education, three best mates enter a social vacuum of drinking and drugs. They're reckless, seem to be ready to spit in the eye of the world. Hungering for something real, young tearaways try to step out of the fictional universe of violent video games, TV shows and Internet porn.

What is to be a real man? Ideas of masculinity in the movie revolve around aggression, control and misogyny. Dropping pills in a church, smashing up a classroom, trashing a teacher's car, fighting in a club and looking for a hookup are the only proof of adulthood and independence Matthew, Kearney and Rez are able to find. These actions along with the scene of the funeral in the beginning make the viewer anticipate tragedy.

The first hit comes at unawares. The dark crawls to the surface of neon lights and carelessness. It is not seen until it's too late. The party of life soon turns sour after the lads witness death. A girl gets knocked down by a car.

Common traumatic experience makes discord between friends obvious as it drags out the worst, or better to say, the deepest hidden, in them. As "alpha" male Kearney (Finn Cole) finds power in violence, withdrawn Rez (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) shuts himself even more scared of his own numbness and emotionlessness. Matthew, sensitive as his newly acquired girlfriend Jen (Anya Taylor-Joy) likes to call him, gets burnt out by the repressed emotions and inner conflict between friendship and morals.
Kearney is definitely a person of interest as it is his sadistically charged doings that push the action of the movie forward. An Authoritarian father who by cliche seats on the sofa and demands more beer is certainly a source of trauma. Being constantly called not manly enough, Kearney becomes a representation of toxic masculinity. His summer trip to "America'' (the USA, apparently) is shown in voice-overs of e-mails and episodes of a comedy TV-show with him as a guest. Through the implications it is apparent he's up to no good. But just as Matthew, the viewer is reluctant to admit he will go this far.

Deeply deranged, Kearney chooses to film the most reprehensible aspects of his thrill-seeking life. There's rape, physical abuse and most likely murder. After the return, Kearney continues to seed destruction. His definition of fun seems to be inadmissible for Matthew yet he's manipulated by "you're my best mate" revelations.

Jen is a key figure for the resolution of the story. Being the mouthpiece of common sense, she is somehow edgy, spiced by the charisma of an actress. Her relationship with Matthew starts as a true picture of young love, however, grows into the vessel of his Kearney drama. Pouring anger out on Jen, Matthew gets closer to admitting the responsibility for his choice of friends.

"He was trying to rape me and you did nothing," – the conversation that changes everything. Matthew sees clear as ever that Kearney brings disaster. Trying to get confessions out of him, all Matthew hears is sexist phrases about deceitful nature of women and their lust. There is no other way around.
Matthew sets things right to the extent of right they can possibly be. Club, beer, poison, church. It's Kearney's funeral we're about to witness. Matthew tries to reach his own sense of right and wrong and makes up for his choices. He steps into adulthood shaking hands with his teacher and realizing there's so much more to it than freedom.
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