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Posts Tagged ‘billy crudup’

Okay, full disclaimer: I watched this film because Tim Roth is in it. Partly also because it’s about running and I love running, but mainly the Tim Roth thing. So to make it clear for any fellow Rothians – he’s not in it much at all!! Anyway onto the film itself…

Kevin Schuler (Graham Rogers) is an athlete in a high school team, coached by Coach Jared (Roth). Kevin’s girlfriend Ellie is also in the team and is Coach Jared’s daughter. When Ellie and several of Kevin’s team mates are killed in a roac accident, he turns to running to help him cope with his loss. He starts at a new school with the unconventional Coach K (Billy Crudup) who helps with Kevin’s running training.

Kevin finds himself trapped by memories of the past byt hoping to forge a new future and is torn between his life before the crash and his life after it.

If I’m honest, I was slightly disappointed by this film. Not just because Tim Roth’s involvement ended after about 15 minutes, but because I unfortunately don’t have much patience with teenage angst. While I totally understand that losing your girlfriend and best mates in a crash is far more than just normal teenage problems, Kevin was never really that likeable to me. I did like Coach K though and thought this was a great performance from Crudup. Overall, a perfectly passable way to pass an evening, but not the great running movie I had been expecting.

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The Stanford Prison Experiment is a film about an actual social psychological experiment conducted at Stanford University in 1971.

24 students out of a larger pool (one alternate ended up being used) were selected to take part in the experiment, which put half of them into a ‘prisoner’ group and half into a ‘guard’ group. They were then put into a makeshift prison and observed on camera by Professor Philip Zimbardo (played here by Billy Crudup), who was running the experiment, and his team. The idea behind it was to see the psychological effects of being in a particular role. The results were astonishing.

Almost immediately the guards, one in particular, began to display aggressive and sadistic tendencies, while the prisoners – now known only be numbers, instead of their names – started to get institutionalised, with some rebelling against the guards and others kowtowing to authority.

It’s not spoilerish to say that things got out of hand quickly and shockingly, but even knowing this going in, I was stunned to see how quickly people took on a new mantle and attitude due to the role they had been given. It’s worth bearing in mind that all of these subjects were students at Stanford University, with no criminal record or known psychological issues. They were all deemed to be stable and healthy. They all knew that it wasn’t an actual prison, yet they were all affected badly by what happened to them. It makes me shudder to think how someone with emotional or psychological issues could be affected.

This is certainly not an easy film to watch, but it was certainly difficult for me to tear my eyes away from the screen. Utterly compelling and unforgettable. I definitely recommend this film.

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