Freak Show

milkboys Films, Films & Cinema 3 Comments

There are plenty of great films in recent years about finding yourself and staying true to who you are deep down. Freak Show is another one of these films, but it has a refreshingly optimistic feel to it that makes it stand out.

It first premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and is an entertaining, enjoyable, optimistic story about personal identity and fighting back against bullies (not with violence, but with pride and courage). Alex Lawther stars a young, gay high school student named Billy Bloom who dresses up lavishly every day (think: Lady Gaga) yet the film isn’t so much about homosexuality as it is about being totally yourself, and finding a way to survive even if you don’t fit in with everyone else.

Lawther’s performance as Billy Bloom is the most essential part of the story and it really works wonders, as he embraces every last aspect of the character. It honestly doesn’t even seem like a “performance” so much as a genuine expression of individuality and creativity.

Bloom comes from a very wealthy family and when he joins a new school after moving in with his father, he gets bullied and beat up. He stands out as the only weird one in the school, and makes a few friends who help him to navigate the treacherous world of high school.

Directed by Trudie Styler, based on the book by James St. James, the film is fairly lightweight and easy to watch, staying optimistic and pleasant when it easily could be more serious or depressing. This actually benefits the film because it makes it more enchanting overall.

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