Arts & Entertainment

HANDSOME DEVIL

This small Irish coming-of-age film realistically deals with the psychological issues experienced by a teenager over his sexual identity and contains universal themes which all young gay people should relate to.

Ned (Fionn O’shea) is a nerdy kid suffering from a persecution complex and is labelled a gay by the boarding school bullies owing to his appearance and his lack of interest in rugby.

His new roommate Conor (Nicholas Galitzine) is quietly spoken, handsome and a natural rugby player.

A bond develops between the two, a friendship which is tested by peer group pressure, rumours and intimidation from the pupils and teachers alike.

Dealt with tenderness, this film explores the friendship, disappointments and hardships of a gay teenager who desperately wants to come out, but who is unable to, owing to the high expectations set by the school and society in general.

Is Ned or Conor gay? Is coming out the right thing to do? Is it a lie to pretend to be straight? A memorable quote from one of the teachers who asks “if you try to be someone else, who’s going to be you?” is a very relevant and thought-provoking question.

There’s a few surprises in this school yard drama of the friendship of two boys who ultimately altered the thought patterns of not only the pupils, but the teachers alike. (MMo)

★★★ 1/2

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