Keep in touch with VOXX

Email: or Tel T: 01472 240440

Film/TV beach rats

Published on November 24th, 2017 | by voxx


Beach Rats

Out: 24 November
Cert: 15
Length: 98 minutes
Rating: 4/5

Director: Eliza Hittman

Cast: Harris Dickinson, Madeline Weinstein, Kate Hodge, Neal Huff

Plot:19-year-old Frankie (Dickinson) spends his time balancing between his delinquent friends, a potential new girlfriend (Weinstein) and searching online for older men to meet.

Writer/Director Eliza Hittman’s second feature is a corker. After her recreational directorial debut ‘It Felt Like Love’, about the complexity of a young woman’s life struggling to get to terms with trying to fit in with the life of an older guy, in ‘Beach Rats’ she shifts her focus to Frankie (Dickinson), a young adolescent boy balancing his time between his home life, his delinquent friends, a potential new girlfriend and searching online for older men to meet and possibly hang out with.

There is a plot, sort of, but the plot isn’t the real feature here. She sets the film around a tone-poem, an ever changing collage of mood and atmosphere set in the glamorous coloured back lights of his Coney Island neighbourhood, which is the domain hang out point for him and his friends. At home his life is bleak; his mother (Hodge) always wonders where he goes at night and during the day she worries that he doesn’t do anything apart from hang out with his friends and go online. He’s afraid to tell her what’s really going on in his mind, as he struggles to come to terms with his identity and discover if he is homosexual or heterosexual. “I don’t know what I like,” he says, and this brings difficulty to his home life as his family don’t know who he is either. Obviously, top marks go to Hittman’s beautiful direction as she deceptively spirals around this domain core throughout most of the 98 minute runtime, offering a uniquely toned sad character study of a young man’s life of self discovery.

But it’s the bare essentials where the film is at its best; it’s here when she lets Dickinson’s true side come out on screen. Throughout he’s always afraid to show emotion yet in a beautiful moment of gut-wrenching hurt he belts it out, leaving you feel for him. However, at other times his deceptively blank face matched with Hélène Louvart’s idyllically natural cinematography tells a story which is far more informed in Frankie’s mood rather than the events around him, giving the film it’s golden crown.

‘Beach Rats’ is an almost dreamlike merge of perhaps ‘Brokeback Mountain’, and ‘Moonlight’, as it steps into questions of self-discovery. Yet Hittman successfully merges these two examples and yet never steps into familiar territory; she keeps it grounded from going too far away from the bearings she places in the first few minutes. Both Dickinson’s sensational performance and Hittman’s beautiful direction help keep the story feeling all too real. Demonstrating a sure hand throughout, making her a filmmaker whose future work will be hotly anticipated, we cannot wait to see what she does next.

VERDICT: Anxious, empathetic and sensationally acted, Hittman draws a clever, clear-eyed look into the captivatingly vital power of self-discovery that will stay with you forever.

- By Corey Denford

About the Author

Leave a Reply

Back to Top ↑

  • Welcome to VOXX Online

    voxx_coversVOXX is Lincolnshire’s number one volunteer-led magazine, running both quarterly print editions and ongoing digital content, giving young people the opportunity to develop real journalism skills.
    READ MORE about how you can get involved.

  • This Month’s Theme

    The idea of talking about Christmas in September divides the nation, but we’re going to do it anyway, because the next issue is planned for release just in time for the holidays!

    In the past we’ve focused on the commercial side, and on entertainment, but this year we’re thinking a little differently.

    While we are still accepting content on any topic and still love to read all your reviews, we would like to put an emphasis on feelgood stories, things that can open our eyes or make us feel something, whether that’s advice on conquering a fear or goal, stories from real people in the community, celebrations and events, stories of experiences or foreign, far off places, or perhaps something as simple as a warming family recipe.

    Good luck, and happy writing! Content deadline November 1st.

  • Advertise with VOXX

    Want your business to be exposed to the whole region and beyond? Advertising with VOXX might just help you.

    We publish a new issue of this ever-growing youth magazine quarterly in print, with ongoing content on this website throughout the year.

    We offer a range of sizes to suit every price range and we’ll even design the artwork for you at no extra cost!

    Contact our sales team on (01472) 240440 for more information about this excellent value opportunity.

  • Latest


  • Connect with us!

    Facebook: VOXX
    Twitter: @voxxmagazine
    Instagram: voxxmagazine
    Pinterest: VOXX