Starred Up

Starred Up

This is how you break my heart with a character intro: Show me what awful things the character has learned to accept as normal. The strip search, the surrender of personal identity, prepping his shiv and baby oil. I’m dying for this kid. Although the one that really did me in was later, when he turns to face the wall every time he’s going to pass through a door, even when he doesn’t need to. Eric has no idea how to be anything other than a prisoner.

Clever, twisted spin on helicopter parenting here.

You know what else always gets me? Kindness without conditions, especially when it’s shown to someone who can’t comprehend that concept. Hassan tossing Eric that bottle of shampoo after helping save his life: “You got some doo-doo in your hair, bruv.”

So much stronger for keeping Eric as the main character. Would’ve been much easier on the audience to go from the POV of the anger management group leader as the white savior trying to rescue all these lost souls. And knowing that screenwriter Jonathan Asser was a former prison therapist makes me even more impressed that he resisted that self-glorifying temptation.