The Boys

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"This little piggy laughed all the way home!"
  • R
  • 1997
  • 1 hr 26 min
  • 7.1  (11,443)

In the grim and violent world of 'The Boys,' a struggling family in 1960s Dublin struggles to find meaning amid the pervasive criminality and intolerance of their community. Directed by Alan Parker and starring Stephen Rea, Fiona Shaw and Eamonn Owens, this thought-provoking and emotional coming-of-age drama explores the misguided desires of a young boy who dreams of joining his brother's gang to escape the dreariness of his life.

At the center of the story is young Francie Brady (played by Owens), a smart but troubled young man who is being slowly destroyed by his abusive father and passive mother. Desperate for attention, he idolizes his older brother Joe (Alan Boyle), an infamous local criminal who runs the rough streets of Dublin with his gang of ruthless thugs. Although Francie is horrified by the brutal violence that his brother and his crew inflict on the community, he can't help but find himself drawn to their dangerous and glamourous lifestyle.

As the story unfolds, Francie embarks on a series of reckless and dangerous adventures as he attempts to win his brother's approval and earn his place in the gang. Along the way, he is drawn into a volatile love triangle with two girls from his school, the beautiful yet troubled Joe's girlfriend, and the more stable and kindhearted Kate (Sinead O'Connor). As Francie's mental state deteriorates, the line between his delusions and reality becomes increasingly blurred, leading to a shocking and heartbreaking climax.

The film is notable for its unflinching portrayal of the harsh realities of life in Dublin at the time. The characters are all struggling to survive in a society dominated by poverty, crime, and religious oppression, and are frequently subject to violent outbursts and abuse. Despite the bleakness of their surroundings, however, the characters are complex and multi-dimensional, and the actors deliver powerful performances that lend credibility to their struggles.

Throughout the film, director Alan Parker employs a variety of cinematic techniques to convey the mood and tension of the story. The camera work is often stark and gritty, featuring close-up shots of the characters' faces that emphasize their emotional turmoil. The settings are meticulously designed to capture the look and feel of the era, with cramped, rundown homes and bleak streetscapes evoking the hopelessness of the characters' lives.

Overall, 'The Boys' is a compelling and engrossing drama that explores the devastating impact of poverty and violence on the human psyche. Through its honest and unflinching portrayal of the struggles of its characters, it offers a powerful indictment of the social and economic conditions that have shaped modern Ireland. For those who appreciate powerful, thought-provoking cinema, 'The Boys' is a must-see.

The Boys
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 26 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.1  (11,443)