★★★★ | Beach Rats
A young man plays it very cool with his friends while he hides his true sexuality in the new film Beach Rats.
19-year old Frankie (Harris Dickinson) lives with his mother and dying father in Brooklyn, New York. His mother constantly nags him to get a job but he spends his days doing drugs and hanging out with his gang of homeboys. They are all very macho and straight and while away the hours hanging out on the boardwalk and chatting up local girls. But what they don’t know about Frankie is that he secretly spends his time on gay hookup sites and meets other men at a local cruising spot for sex.
There is one girl, however, from the neighbourhood (Madeline Weinstein) who he hooks up with – he really likes her and she really likes him, but expectedly it doesn’t go anywhere. And when he gets involved in an incident with his friends that involves a gay man his life suddenly takes a turn.
UK born Dickinson is very good as Frankie. He nails down the accent and the attitude almost perfectly. With no previous film credits, he’s a natural and very compelling to watch on the big screen (and boy is he sexy)! Director Eliza Hittman gets almost everything right in this film, with the exception of the last 20 minutes that gets a bit too unbelievable. But it’s Dickinson you’ll remember when the screen credits go up. He’s on to bigger and better things.
Tim Baros writes film and theatre articles/ reviews for Pride Life and The American magazines and websites, as well as for Hereisthecity.com, Blu-RayDefinition.com and TheGayUK.com. He has also written for In Touch and TNT Magazines, SquareMile.com and LatinoLife.co.uk. He is a voting member for the UK Regional Critics Circle and the Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA – of which he is the UK representative). In addition, he has produced and directed two films: The Shirt and Rex Melville Desire: The Musical.
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