Quick Movie Review: Bully – 2001 – directed by Larry Clark

Posted: April 11, 2013 in Drama
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One day kids turn on the local bully. But how far will they go to make sure he doesn’t bully them again?

I had been looking forward to seeing all of this film for quite some time after catching the beginning on television years ago. I finally got round to watching the ending and I must say I was slightly disappointed.

The whole film is very well acted by the young cast especially Brad Renfro and Rachel Miner who are what you’d call the main instigators of the piece. Nick Stahl is also great as the town bully who can go from being likeable to a hateful rapist at the click of your fingers. The supporting cast are all just as good and all help power the plot along.

The film looks really good, yet isn’t too glossy which is nice. It all feels very natural and in a way, quite documentary styley. This helps the film get across the fact that it is based on a true story (I’m not sure how closely it sticks to the facts though).

The film is very grim which is both one of its biggest saviours and its biggest downfall. The grimness is created through the fact that everything is played out very deadpan and nothing is hidden. Larry Clark the director doesn’t shy away from filming graphic sex and violence and he’s no different here. While there is a lot of sex, non of it feels ‘erotic’ of ‘sexy’, it is merely there because it happens in real-life. I would argue that he started off using it in this way but somewhere in his carrier decided he would use it extensively for exploitative reasons and to get his films in the public eye.

Some films use sex and violence to make a point. This uses it to shock the audience. There is no other reason for it but on the other hand, without it the film wouldn’t work at all. It relies on this shock to in turn keep the audience watching.  It also doesn’t help that by the end the characters are all unlikeable and unrelatable to.

Overall I’m happy to have seen it, but I’m not inclined to watch it ever again. 5/10

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