I wasn’t expecting a great deal from this film, but it is actually quite powerfully disturbing. Goat is about the hazing rituals in US colleges that happen in frat houses. On the surface it presents the sheer physical danger of these stupid rituals, but at a deeper level when you understand how much of a long standing tradition and how widespread these things are, Goat makes you wonder about the decision making of all these people later in life when they are running so much of the US government, its military, the media, business and industry and even the legal system. Given the influence of the US and what it does on the rest of the world, it is a real worry.
I saw a review that dismissed or discounted this message as the reviewer thought everyone already knew all of this, but I don’t think those of us in the rest of the world do and nor do we think it to be a harmless rite of passage towards “manhood”.
I think it certainly helps to have big names like Nick Jonas and James Franco in the film to help with this exposé. I haven’t seen Ben Schnetzer, the lead actor, before but he does a great job in looking both vulnerable, and still determined to be part of this brotherhood that he clearly sees as meaningless.
Surprisingly disturbing and powerful.
My Bruce McAvaney Specialness Rating*: 3+/5 (Somewhat special.)