Here Are the Young Men is a coming of age story that is set in Ireland in 2003. The film stars a bevvy of young talent. The cast includes Dean-Charles Chapman, Finn Cole, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Ferdia Walsh-Peelo. The film follows this foursome during the Summer following their final year in secondary school.
The film follows them as they traverse this final Summer before they become proper adults. They all supposedly have it all mapped out. Matthew (Chapman) wishes to simply go on living and will get a job to help sustain his life. Jen (Joy) hopes to make something of her life but isn’t quite sure what that means yet. Rez (Peelo) has no idea what to do and seems to live day by day. And then comes Kearney (Cole) who I can best describe as every shit-stirrer condensed into one human being. He believes that there is nothing in Ireland for him, but in America, he can become his best self, a real man. Right before this happens however the three lads are witnesses to a horrible accident and it affects them all.
Become a man
Here Are the Young Men is a film about masculinity, in particular toxic masculinity. It showcases how young men are taught various incorrect lessons through television and film. And though this film is based in Ireland you could apply this theme across the whole world. Each of the young men in this film has crippling insecurities and when this horrible event happens it brings up these qualities within them. Matthew becomes withdrawn and somewhat of a coward. He looks to Jen for support and thankfully she is there for him. She among all the characters is the one with her head on straight. She has fun but she knows when to relax. On the other side of the spectrum is Kearney who after coming back from America has given into his darker desires. He was already something of a jerk but going to America and living the “American Dream” has furthered his de-evolution. Then there is Rez who becomes disconnected from his friends and doesn’t know what to do with himself.
Here Are the Young Men: Is this who you want to be?
The best part of Here Are The Young Men, are the young men and the woman they are friends with. The characters are well written and the cast elevates them beyond any of the clichés you may feel they have. I have to commend Anya Taylor-Joy and Dean-Charles Chapman on their spot on Irish accents. The MVP of the film goes to Finn Cole though who plays hellion in the making Kearney.
He’s disturbing, he’s monstrous and you can’t take your eyes away from him. Finn brings a raw element to the role that will remind you of that friend you always worried about. If there are any issues it is that Ferdia has one moment in the film and the film doesn’t know what to do with him afterwards as it is focusing on the other characters more. Thankfully though when he is in the film he is charming as hell.
The score of the film complements the cinematography as it feels energetic and frenzied and it encapsulates the time these characters are living in. It also helped me as a viewer because I would have been the same age as these characters in 2003. It’s a strange connection but it helped me further fall into this rabbit hole.
Ultimately Here Are the Young Men is a brilliant film with a stellar cast. Check it out when it comes out on the 30th of April digitally and on DVD.
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