The drums keep pounding a rhythm with my soul...

By 11:59 PM ,

I just saw one of the most poignant films, for the first time, in a long time called 'Boy A'.

The setting is English, the characters (I think) are English and they perform convincingly before the cameras.


'Boy A' is about a young boy who was convicted as a young age for a murder and the story begins at his release.

Tagline: "Who decides who gets a second chance?"

See it here...... Boy A

Read the reviews on (Internet Movie Database)


STOP READING NOW if... you intend to watch the film... because the following may/will contain spoilers. Click anywhere here to see the movie...


In Boy A, Jack is Boy A. At the age of 14 he was sentenced to jail for being an accomplice to a murder of a little girl.

The story starts when he is released from prison. His mentor/parole officer/social worker helps to create a new life for him in a different city.

He gets a job, makes new friends, gets a girlfriend... experiments with drinking and drugs. Mind you, he's seeing things through the eyes of practically a teenager as he missed out experience the "come of age" period whilst in jail. Almost everything is a wonder for him in the beginning... and then he gets into life.

During the time spent in the city, he manages to rescue a little girl in a car accident about the same age that was murdered. He also saves his friend from getting attacked and seriously injured from these two HUGE men.

He suffers from internal debates as to whether to tell his gf and best friend the truth about his past, as opposed to the version his officer advised him to do. However, because of the level of passion of the families vengeance and anger, the officer implores and discourages him from doing so.. no one must know he's here or who he really is/was. Later, a 20 grand bounty is placed for his murder. The newspapers did a "future/how he should look now" picture... and his past just kept following him round like a bad habit.

The tagline of the movie is : "Who decides who gets a second chance?"

Now the above explains the storyline... And when you put all the elements together, it's gripping. Atleast to me.

The movie is expressed so delicately... that everything about it seems so fragile. Throughout, there are a series of flashbacks that explains who Jack was prior to his re-invention as a boy and how he got there.

As a boy, he lived a very wounded existence. His father had no time for him, and his mother was dying of cancer and too caught up with herself to care about raising a son. Thus, he was alone. Neither of his parents were willing to give him a listening ear, and later on, they didn't really fight to keep their son out of prison either.

He was bullied and beaten up daily by his classmates... and with having to deal with all his difficulties, he could hardly focus on anything school related whilst in class. He eventually meets his best, and only friend, Phillip. Phillip is a very angry, abused lost soul as well. He was sexually raped/molested by his older brother repeatedly... and gets very violent and defensive in situations outside of the sexual abuse. I assume, since he can't stop his brother, he figures he could at least control what happens to himself outside of it and protect those he cares about.

His violence is seen in how quickly his anger flairs with protecting Jack (aka Eric) and later on with the eel/snake/fish (whatever it was).

The little girl, was a classmate of Eric's. She sits at the same table... the two boys caught her making out with an older boy on the the bush... However, they care very little, and were sharpening a knife, I guess for their next fishing expedition.

She appears and questions what they're doing... Eric defends their actions in a gentle way... after all, they're just doing little boy things. She then insults him and Phillip, calling them spastic and worthless. Phillip gets upset and slashes her hand to make her stop.... she says basically he's unimportant and no one cares about him and she will tell her father... and Phillip becomes enraged, to me, more by what she's saying about him than about her going to complain to his father, and starts to slash her more and they tumble their way downhill where the fight and screams continues. Eric watches helplessly, uncertain what to do... How the flashback is told, very little is revealed about how much of a contribution he makes to the murder beyond not stopping it... But I believe he didn't want to disappoint his only friend regardless of what he did/didn't do.

The movie in no way, makes less of the murder. It is gruesome and it is not right. However, it paints a sympathetic tale of the young boys and their state of mind.

Phillip "killed himself"... but in reality, he was murdered. Eric knew this, but no one would believe him or care even if he explained it.

Like I said... his past follows him around like a bad habit. His officer works so hard to keep Jack's fragile life afloat, up until his jealous depressive bum of a son appears. The son then sets out, maliciously reveals Jack's identity and sits back and watches smirking as Jack's life falls apart.

Jack's best friend turns his back on him.. He gets fired from his job... and his gf refuses to see him.. the officer's son hides the officer's cellphone so Jack can't get in contact with him... and the media is at his door.

The fragile soul escapes through a window in his roof, walks the train tracks to the station and catches a train. He meets his gf there where she says "she would've forgiven him... in time" had he told her the truth... He leaves parting messages on everyone's phone and kills himself.

Now, who decides who deserves a second chance?

Like I was telling Russel, people don't run to bring in psychologists into the courtroom because we don't want to know what factors really led up to the crime. Hell, we don't even want to know why the criminal did what they did - unless its on some grandeur level that the media gets a hold of and it becomes a curious spectacle. What we want to do is judge the crime and put the criminals behind bars, where they belong. *evil laughter* We'd make them stay there forever if we could... because once you hit prison, no matter what you don't come back better, unless Jesus finds you there.

Ok... right.

End sarcasm.

So... what happens to these people after their time is up? We didn't care that much for their backgrounds, so we don't have that much to work with... do we even really want to rehabilitate them?

This movie shows all this. It brings up all of these issues surrounding such a touchy subject. It's not advocating that murder is an ok crime, nor am I. But it is also saying, who are we to judge? What gives us that right?

We are humans... A religious society supposedly - be it Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, etc... We're supposed to be striving towards being better people. Not striving towards being better people with some exceptions to the rule. This being one of them. We're supposed to want to help fix each other, make each other whole... and yet we wonder why there are so many divisions in such an individualistic society where no one really wants to help anyone without some direct benefit.


The little boys parents, didn't give a hoot hoot about them. They had to fend for themselves, teach themselves what they know, and all they had was each other.

It wasn't right, the way they were bullied as kids by their peers. And I'm sure those kids didn't mean to bully them either - it's what they know. They are the products of a mean vicious society. Kids aren't born inherently evil, and even if they are, it's society from family to school to the community they live in that shapes it.

The officer's son is a bum. He's depressive and living a half existence... However, from the snippets being said, he was hardly given that much attention and he's trying to offer an olive branch and actually have a real father-son relationship. Again, you don't approve of what he does... but you understand the hurt he feels and why he did it.

Even his teacher... I don't remember ever picking on my students like that. And if I did, I'm sure I tried to speak to them afterward or find out more about what's causing them to behave like that... I only remember once or twice every really getting upset with my kids... but they're children.. and you never know what impact your words and actions may have on their lives. I wonder how she would feel knowing his story, why he never knew his work, the opportunity she had as an adult to be a positive influence in his life, and how she closed and padlocked that door shut.

The little girl was incredibly mean, especially for her age. I wanted to slap her and tell her have some respect. She was hardly a saint... just like all of these people in the movie.

No man or woman is a saint. We are all sinners.. so because we haven't been tried before a court jury and judge does that make us less of a sinner? Does it make our sins that much acceptable? Why? Sin is sin.

Knowing this... one should be able to forgive and let go. If you could forgive yourself for your sins, and your friends and family for theirs... why not other people?

Since we've established we're not perfect. Why can't we not work towards being better human beings... actually helping our fellow man/woman... do what the "scriptures" say... even if you are just one person, like Ghandi says, "Be the change you wish to see in the world"... or Smoochie in Death to Smoochie, "I can't change the world, but atleast I could make a little dent..."

All these collective dents bring about change... unless that is the real issue. We liked this crazy existence just the way it is? We don't really want to change it. We just want to keep it for dinner conversation and depressing newscasts headlines and newspapers. We like to pity ourselves. Damn depressives.


So... taking this all in.

This boy leaves prison at age 24, hoping for a second chance at life. After living a practically deemed worthless existence void of a parent's love, love of your peers, appreciation from society, etc etc. He reacted the way anyone would having been through those things during those tender years.

He's trying to make up for what he did. Who knows the wealth of positivity and change he could offer to the world? He could end up helping rehabilitate juvenille murderers... re-shape their thinking and make them proper, better human beings. He saved one girl's life. He saved his friend's life. He became a hero of sorts.... but he killed someone once. And that is all we see or care about.

We don't care about the change and effort he's making. We don't care about the potential of positive influence. We want him dead and out of our lives.. that wicked wicked boy.

In the end, he kills himself. It leaves you feeling everything but happy. It leaves your soul drenched in an inexplicable sadness with a complexed moral...

Who decides who gets a second chance?

Who are we to judge...?


Shelli out

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