I screened #GOAT starring #BenSchnetzer and #NickJonas and although the hazings in the film can get over the top, one can't help but wonder if hazings in real life frat out there can really get that violent, especially since the college I attended didn't have Greek houses so I never personally experienced pledges. But GOAT has its own way of rattling your comfort zone. The psychological pain the characters inflict on each other is more disturbing than last year's "The Stanford Prison Experiment."
Directed by Andrew Neel, in GOAT, Ben Schnetzer's character, Brad Land earlier on in the story goes through an initial violence so traumatizing that it pretty much sets up his motivation throughout the entirety of this film. He joins his brother Brett's (Nick Jonas) fraternity and as the pledging ritual moves into hell week, the stakes grow more violent, more humiliating, and more torturous, all in the name of brotherhood, or is Brad trying to prove something else? Based on Brad Land's memoir, co-written by Andrew Neel, David Gordon Green and Mike Roberts, the film deals with the questions of which rites of passage are worth taking and which ones are not and where do you draw the line. There are plenty of hazings in this film, you really don't know what to expect because each of them is shocking in its own way, it becomes ingrained in Brad's psyche or his belief that this may be what is needed to be done for him to punish himself for the earlier event that victimized him. And to some of these brothers, this frat life has become all they know, this is all they have, they think it's the center of the universe so if you go against it, then consequences ensue. It's very intriguing to see Brad and this brotherhood collide and the effect they have on each other.
GOAT is not a college comedy, it shows the darker, harsher side of what college life can offer. It's raw, unforgiving, and it punches you in the gut. You will feel uncomfortable watching GOAT and that is one of the film's main goals. I'd be very interested to see a featurette or behind-the-scenes videos showing how they shot some of the hazing scenes, just to see how the actors mentally prepped for them. I'd like to believe that GOAT doesn't necessarily intend on demonizing frat or Greek houses, I'm sure there are many brotherhoods out there that don't go over the line in their rituals but it does show that when we join a group, any group, it's best to analyze whether or not that group would be beneficial for our personal growth given our previous life experiences.
-- Rama's Screen --
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