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Year:
2017
Country:
USA
Genre:
Drama
IMDB rating:
6.5
Director:
Eliza Hittman

 

          Beach Rats IMDb    Beach Rats Wikipedia    Beach Rats Soundtrack

Neal Huff as Joe
Erik Potempa as Michael
Gabriel Gans as Eddie
Harris Dickinson as Frankie
Nicole Flyus as Carla
Frank Hakaj as Nick
David Ivanov as Alexei
Christian Whelan as Rough Guy
Kate Hodge as Donna
Kris Eivers as Edgar
Beach Rats Storyline: An aimless teenager on the outer edges of Brooklyn struggles to escape his bleak home life and navigate questions of self-identity, as he balances his time between his delinquent friends, a potential new girlfriend, and older men he meets online.
Type Resolution File Size Codec Bitrate Format
1080p 1920x1080 px 7823 Mb h264 11131 Kbps mkv Download
720p 1280x720 px 4471 Mb h264 6361 Kbps mkv Download
HQ DVD-rip 720x406 px 640 Mb h264 910 Kbps mkv Download
Reviews
Surprisingly accurate, almost tough to watch
First off, by tough to watch, I mean that in a good way. The almost painful, questioning and awkward teenage years of a man learning, or trying to learn his sexuality and family fit with turmoil going on all around him could not be captured better. His "not (his) friends" don't seem to make anything easier for him, and his love interest isn't much better.

The one big difference in this film which in my opinion doesn't make it bad, just makes it unique to what is to be expected from many coming of age/life films around is that a majority of the movie is portrayed not by dialog, but by character demeanor, and actions. It is not a feel good movie, and it is not a re-assuring style film. It is as it tries to be a movie showing the hardship of being a teenage male, unsure about his sexuality or life in fractured times.

I would highly recommend this film if that sounds like your cup of tea, but if you like the more light hearted, or 'scripted' style of teenage life this may not be for you.

**Fair warning this film does have a fair bit of nudity, and drug use among others**
2017-09-18
A small slice of white working class in Brooklyn without hope
'Beach Rats' has received positive reviews.Is it worthy of them? Eliza Hit-man's 'Beach Rats' protagonist Frankie has nothing going for him. In a way, he's 'Saturday Night Fever's' Tony Manero of the 21 century. Like Tony he lives with his family, but unlike him, he doesn't work; he's listless. Unlike Tony who has no future other than working in a local paint shop,but lives for the weekends dancing; on the other hand, Frankie is a sixes and sevens, trolling the web for trysts with older men for sex. Unlike Tony who is sure of his sexuality (he adjusts his junk before a mirror before going off to a discotheque). Frankie fears his homosexuality. (Older men don't live in Frankie's world, so it is a 'condom' to protect his doubts and secrets._ Hit-man has created a closed world of the white working class in Gravesend or Sheepshead in the wake of 9/ll and the 2008 world recession. It is a bleak world,a world that for Frankie and his friends with boundaries that end in Coney Island or the bushes of the Belt Parkway where Frankie has sex. A closed in world with no exit: Frankie hangs with three friends, who, like him, are more teenagers than adults. We know little about them, other than Frankie supplies them with marijuana and his dying father's pain killers to dull the pain cancer causes. Frankie is in his own world;he lives in the basement with his computer he uses to find men... They play handball, a sport that once was an important sport in Brooklyn, but no more. And they congregate in a smoke shop, and live for the weekend at Coney Island, seeing the same fireworks week after week, ogling girls, going on rides and getting stoned. Frankie hooks up with Simone a salesgirl with no future too.She chooses Frankie because he's sexy and more pretty than handsome. Frankie's a cynic of sorts; he asks here if she had sex with another girl; she had which she characterizes as 'hot'; he then asks her what about two men who have sex; her reply is a curt..they're gay. Even sex with her remains a last resort, as his sense of self walks on the edge' Frankie is becomes more an outsider as he retreats into self doubt and afraid to come to terms with who he is. Frankie and his friends will stoop to pickpocket on the boardwalk to pay for a weekend of fun, drugs and feel 'strong' and manly, not aimless and lost. Ultimately Frankie lets his friends in his secret as a way to get 'weed'. The victim is beaten and left in the Atlantic to fend for himself. And he seeks respite on the boardwalk of Coney Island, alone and no more sure of who he is... As a sociological statement, 'Beach Rat' is worth seeing. As a film, it has the feel of a graduate school exercise. Coney Island is wonderfully photographed, but Brooklyn remains elusive as does Frankie.
2017-08-27
Strong, beautiful medicine
"Beach Rats" is an extremely potent movie. The plot turns around the anguished, conflicted sexuality of the central character, a teenager named Frankie. Frankie enjoys having sketchy sex with older men. Unhappy with his own tastes, he tries to refocus his libido on more conventional outlets. Unfortunately, though, Frankie's efforts to take an interest in women are an utter failure, only serving to confirm, again and again, his lust for men and his appetite for anonymous gay encounters along roadsides, on beaches and in motels.

Unable to cope with the dissonance between what he craves and what he wishes he craved instead, Frankie relies heavily on drugs to numb the pain and kill time. He spends his days and nights with a small pack of pathetic, frustrated thugs who resort to petty crime to buy drugs and booze.

Frankie's downward spiral is portrayed with great finesse by Harris Dickinson. Eliza Hittman's writing and direction are highly effective, and the photography and editing are also first rate. All of the subsidiary roles are well cast and played with uncanny naturalness and precision. I did not detect a single false note in any of the acting in this film.

Fundamentally, this is a movie about the inability of people to accept the mountain of ambiguity and filth they have to climb in order to become themselves. Beyond conformity and rebellion, what is a human being? "Beach Rats" proposes no answers to the profound questions raised by the shabby ruins it excavates.
2017-08-29
Boring
Seen at the Viennale 2017: A guy is really really bored. And we have to watch him on screen. He is gay and takes drugs. And he meets older men. So what? I cannot really believe, that boys like him exist. At least he is gay and is looking for sex. I assume that a young boy who is eager for sex has a vital force in himself, driving him to stupid ideas and encounters. But this boy does not have any urge in him. I guess, in reality he would not even search for sex with such low energy in him. I guess, the real gay boys on that beach are much more filled with energy, what cannot be imagined or shown in an art movie by a director without similar inner needs. Real life is not that lifeless.
2017-10-27
Not a character to care for
Admitted, I did not applaud when the film was over at the Viennale screening two days ago. It is difficult for me to carry a torch for a character who seems so indifferent about himself, so hopeless and sometimes cruel. One can argue that it is a piece of life and people like him exist. They do, no question about that. But is it worth watching a guy 90+ minutes not getting his act together? This is up to everyone's own judgment.

The problem with the main character Frankie is, he is so boring! The film doesn't give you anything sympathetic or at least interesting about him. The fact that he is gay might have been interesting enough 20 years ago but not anymore. A lot of the discussion in reviews rotates around his search for sexual identity. I wonder if anyone noticed that his life would not be much easier or clearer if he would be straight like his buddies. They don't share his secret longings but they hang out together most of the time and do the same things. Beside his meeting elder men for sex, his drug consume and criminal acts, his indifference toward his family would be the same.

Throughout the film we are constantly looking at close-up and medium shots of naked male skin, the gang is shown either with slim undershirts or shirtless. If these would be scenes with women we would call this an exploitation movie.

But yes, his sexual uncertainty is of importance to the story when it comes to women. When a girl tries to date him he reluctantly acts up to what he thinks is expected of him, but soon fails on all fronts. The best scene of the film is when his girlfriend pulls the brake and tells him off. Asked why, she explains to him, he is a ruin, too much would be necessary to make him over and she would only want to see him again after he has been renovated.

Despite the fact that he is in almost every scene we learn very little about him. We don't learn anything about his buddies. We see glimpses of his family and I wondered how his mother took so long to realize that her son is in trouble.

There are interesting moments in the film but overall not enough development to care much.
2017-10-24
Boring and Predictable
As usual with the Sundance darlings, I can't understand what possessed the people who saw this to award it with a prize of any sort. It's very tedious to sit through the scenes of the lead character ("Frankie?") emoting the same dogged look on his face in every shot. He seems to have one reaction to everything -- kind of a vapid, listless stare. I don't see how it evokes any kind of emotion to the scenes going on around him. To say that this is an original story would be very generous to the writer/director. I feel like I've seen this plot and set of characters before, but done better. Every scene was played out by the book, so we know exactly what will happen before it does, and there are many unfocused scenes (both in the writing and the shaky-cam cinematography). I got very ansy trying to accept that the 3 other male characters would easily go along with the idea of searching a gay male dating app for a bag of weed (huh? Are these guys all in some kind of mental black hole?) And the idea that the lead character would ask them to search for weed on a gay dating site is completely absurd. In general, the plot is very limited -- they do nothing, they smoke vapes, they do nothing again, they try to score weed, they do nothing again, and there are a couple of yawns over some forced communication, and the movie drags on. I finally had to stand up and leave before it ended because I was in danger of falling asleep.
2017-09-04
Pretty bad, sadly...
What we have here is anomie and lots of it...and then, more anomie. It start off well...it kind of channels a Larry Clark movie (or a movie Larry Clark might have wanted to make)....and just as quickly as you think you might be watching something special, nothing else happens. We don't even get to know the fate of the victim...in a film with so little plot, that really is a travesty. Pretty boresville, folks.
2017-09-26
Brooklyn teenage sad sack, confused over his sexual identity, hardly makes for compelling drama
Another highly touted film at the Sundance Festival, Beach Rats also garnered quite a bit of enthusiastic accolades from mainstream critics. But why? As usual, second feature director Eliza Hittman manages to proffer up a visually impressive palette evoking the heady atmosphere of lower middle-class Brooklyn and one particular young man confused about his sexual identity.

The protagonist is Frankie, played with subdued intensity by Harris Dickinson. He lives with his mother and teenage sister during a high time of family stress (the father is uncommunicative in a hospital bed, dying of cancer). Frankie's mother wants to know why he comes home so late and the sister resents his being constantly overprotective.

Frankie has a bunch of friends he hangs out with—the so-called "Beach Rats." I'm not sure why the film has such a title—since the aforementioned "rats" are all underdeveloped characters (stereotypes if you will), whom we learn little about during the film. What's more Frankie doesn't fit in with this group and they are only truly integrated into the plot during the film's climax.

Hittman makes the mistake of many neophyte writers when she assumes that a sad sack like Frankie is a) an interesting character and b) makes for good drama. She's wrong on both counts: simply put, compelling cinematic characters have an ego—in other words, they like themselves (think of the cool narcissism of the characters in The Sopranos).

Frankie, on the other hand, is an angry, unlikable character who spends most of his evenings trolling through gay chat rooms and experiencing unfulfilled sexual encounters with an assortment of (mostly older) gay men. Hittman doesn't want us to identify with her protagonist but rather "feel his angst," which she blames on his sad home life (the death of his father contributes to Frankie's instability one-third of the way through the narrative).

How do we know Hittman disapproves of Frankie's lifestyle?—the ending clues us in: Frankie's plan to smoke some marijuana with his friends goes awry after the "Beach Rats" rob and assault one of Frankie's pick-ups, implicating all of them as criminals.

The story would have been a lot more interesting if Frankie had a better opinion of himself and wasn't simply confused about his sexuality. With his one-note obsession about sex, Frankie doesn't have an internal arc where he grows at all. Ultimately Frankie's machinations are boring as there's little notable change in the character's development.

Earlier on, Frankie does struggle in his relationship with a young woman, Simone, played by the attractive Madeline Weinstein. Hittman does her best work in conveying the tension between the troubled couple. Nonetheless, Simone is another one dimensional character, simply designed to play off the confused Frankie.

In the end, Beach Rats is no "Nights of Cabiria," which is probably what the director intended. Instead, we're stuck with the usual melodramatic characters and stock situations. Angst in itself is hardly the answer for good, compelling drama.
2017-09-03
A Potent Slice-of-Life Film
"Beach Rats" is a simple, sometimes dreamlike independent film centered around a college-age man named Frankie, who is spending a summer living with family in Brooklyn, NY. The film follows his relationships with his group of male friends and his girlfriend, as well as his affinity for older men as he explores his sexual orientation.

The film is often haunting in a minimalistic sense, using a simple but effective score to create its well-crafted tone. Moving at a leisurely pace, the plot is quite simple to follow--although the storyline does occasionally take turns that the viewer may not expect. The acting is generally strong throughout, and such care to the film's performances by the director and cast are evident from the beginning. The raw nature of the tone adds to the gritty believability of the narrative, which is an impressive feat to pull off. As a result, the story is generally quite compelling--even though it may seem somewhat repetitive to viewers at times in the first two acts.

Equally solid is the film's cinematography, which aims for simple but powerfully realistic shots. Low-key but beautiful and fairly lengthy takes of scenes at Brooklyn neighborhoods and the beach are particularly noteworthy here. While you are drawn in to empathize with Frankie from the beginning, the film unfortunately drops off a little bit and feels rather derivative in the second act. This would be the main reason why "Beach Rats," while a well-made film, is also an imperfect one. Viewers could be forgiven for mildly losing interest while watching the middle section of the film, but I personally was not bored and remained engaged in the storyline. Just when one might think the story is about to teeter out, however, it builds to an emotional, melancholy and highly thought- provoking finale. 7/10
2017-08-31
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