Bully

Ladymol's Review

You sometimes have to wonder if the anti-Americanism in some parts of the world isnít fuelled by films like this. Iím not saying that America is all like this, or all young Americans behave like this, but that this film was actually made amazes me. Surely, someoneówriter, producer, director, actorómight have had a moment of clarity and said: whoa, stop, this just needs NOT to be made.

Young rich Americans who seem to have no purpose in life but to take drugs and have sex with each other decide to murder one of their friends. Ostensibly, he has been ďbullyingĒ his friend, but this abusive relationship didnít seem credible to me. So, the teenagers gang together and brutally murder this boy. There is no gay interest at all, unless you see the bullying as repressed homosexuality. Iím not surprised the director slipped in some homophobia; he must be a pretty unpleasant guy to make this movie.

Not much else to say really. I canít imagine who would want to watch this.


Cerisaye's Review

This is one of the worst films I have ever seen.† I donít know how to begin to write a review.† Itís sickening and deeply disturbing.† I donít understand what the filmmaker was trying to say.† Any serious point he might have made is undone by gross sensationalism and totally gratuitous sex and nudity throughout.† Itís like a paedophileís wet dream, lingering shots of nubile young flesh, male and female, complete with crotch shots and more naked breasts than Iíve ever seen in an American film outside porno.†

The story, based on a book, is apparently true, though aspects were changed for dramatic purposes.† Itís supposedly a warning to parents of teenagers what their kids could be getting up to while weíre trying to be their friends not authority figures.† Well, I have three teenagers, they have lots of friends and none of them remotely like those in this film.†

Itís set in affluent Florida, all beautiful homes and fancy cars.† None of the kids goes to school or has to work; they just hang out.† Theyíre all taking drugs and having lots of sex.† Two of them, Marty & Bobby, have been best friends since childhood, but itís a master-slave kind of relationship.† Bobby bullies Marty, makes him do things he doesnít want to and abuses him.† The relationship is so intense itís possibly more than friendship, and Bobbyís violence against Marty externalised homophobia, but itís insufficiently developed.† Bobby gets Marty to strip in a gay bar and work for a gay chatline.† But itís such a disgusting film I donít want it put down to repressed homosexuality.

The young actors, including Nick Stahl and Michael Pitt, are convincing in their roles.† Thatís the only positive thing Iím prepared to say.† The plot is simple enough.† Martyís girlfriend Lisa is so jealous of Bobbyís relationship with Marty she conceives the idea of killing him.† For some reason he agrees, and their group of friends gets roped in to help.† Theyíre not too smart either as they openly brag about it around town.† And they do, in one of the most sickening scenes in my experience, leaving nothing to the imagination.† I couldnít believe it when weíre then shown Marty & Lisa having sex while they talk about the gruesome killing.† Totally uncalled for and very misjudged.† Added nothing to the characters, indeed contradicted everything that followed, purely for titillation.

Then of course it all falls apart.† Presumably the point being they didnít have any concept that what they were doing was real and not video game violence.† One of the girls, but not the one who says ĎHey, letís kill Bobbyí, seems to have a history of sexual abuse, including rape, and another was brought up by a mother who saw her father kill her mother.† Thatís the backstory.

But you know what?† I donít want to think about this appalling film any more, so Iím not going to.† I highly recommend you donít watch it.† Believe me youíre doing yourself a big favour.