19 October 2012

Bully (2011)

Alex Libby
          Essential plot rundown:  This documentary follows several kids as they get bullied at school and their parents' attempts to change it.  So, I've been wanting to see this movie for a while, initially gaining interest because of the rating dispute.

          I had mix feelings about this documentary, but I liked it overall.  I think the subject matter is important.  I applaud the filmmakers for making this documentary.  It strikes home because this is something that we all will likely have to deal with, if we haven't already.  However, while the intentions were good, I felt the execution was weak.

          Bully follows several kids and I felt it was too many.  Because they have to devote time to each kid, I did not feel like any of them were fleshed out.  There is one main kid (see above) and he is really the only one I connected with.  I understand why they showed all of the kids; each one went through something different.  But part of me wanted to cut half of them out and focus only on two.  This would allow the audience to better connect with the kid.  Or they should have made the film longer, allowing more time with each child.  (The movie is only 1 and 1/2 hours).  Another complaint was a technical one.  Whoever was running the camera should learn to keep his hands off of the focus.  It was constantly shifting and was super distracting.

          Another thing was how the school system was depicted.  It is not a complaint, but more of a question.  The school system is depicted as useless and incompetent.  (And the assistant principal was a total bitch).  I am just curious as to how much of that is really incompetence and how much is the filmmakers twisting things a little to prove a point.

          So, overall, I would recommend this movie.  I liked it but felt it could have been better.  While there were some stirring moments, I really only connected with one person.

     But that's just my opinion...

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