If you leave school with a career mapped out then you’re one of the fortunate (and probably privileged) ones. Most of us simply end up making it up as we go along. Especially when there are very few prospects out there to choose from. The transition from childhood to adulthood is often tricky and it’s tempting to try and extend that relative freedom as long as possible in an attempt to avoid making difficult decisions. This is the case in Eoin Macken’s new film, Here Are the Young Men.
Matthew (Dean-Charles Chapman) has finally finished with school. For Kearney (Finn Cole), it was the other way round, whilst Rez (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) had little interest in the first place. Jen (Anya Taylor-Joy), on the other hand, wants to be president of the UN. Sort of. With a summer of drink and drugs ahead of them, the party soon turns sour after the lads witness the death of a young girl. This tragedy triggers increasingly reckless behaviour as the trio descend into a downward spiral.
Here Are the Young Men deals with the darker side of growing up, toxic masculinity and substance abuse. Rez’s nihilism spills out onto his friends and Matthew finds himself making a number of increasingly bad choices. We’re formed by the society in which we live in and by those who surround us. One bad decision can lead to another until there’s nowhere left to go. Macken’s film has its ups and downs but in the end Here Are the Young Men leaves a lasting impression.
Here Are the Young Men premieres at Raindance Film Festival later in the year.