Director: Andrew Neel
Rating: 2 stars
After an assault by strangers Brad suffers with the idea of being weak. His brother, Brett convinces him to go to his college where Brad pledges the same fraternity as his brother did before. Everything that happens there is in the name of the “brotherhood.” Loyalty gets tested in brutal ways.
Cruelty. Brutality. Fraternity.
The film opens with several slow motion shots of shirtless boys cheering. After that the film continues with a house party. Beer gets spilled, people get drunk,… The scene that follows makes it clear that there won’t be a lot of music involved. So, we get the silence that the characters experience and the noise they experience, but no added music. Which results in what can be called boring scenes at certain moments. The action or happening that takes place in front of the camera isn’t compelling enough to work without added suspense.
I can ignore the silent moments and sometimes even appreciate them. It wasn’t my biggest problem with this film. My main problem was the story itself. Two brothers, but what do I actually know about them? It turns out nothing. If it wasn’t for the synopsis on IMDb I wouldn’t have guessed that Brad was a 19 year-old boy. I kind of thought he would be 21 or older. I even wasn’t sure if it was their first year at university or third. The story lacked background about the main character. Apart from that, the narrative had a lot of loose ends. The assault at the beginning determines how Brad experiences his stay on university. It influences his choices and why he continues with the cruel hazing. The initiation is the main focus of this film and after that there had to be a connection with the assault. The good thing is, they tied the knots together, but they didn’t do it properly. After the movie I was left with the feeling that it just didn’t make sense and it all felt kind of pointless.
Talking about pointless. Why did James Franco’s character appear? His character had no value and was just forgettable. I wish he hadn’t, because he annoyed me for those few minutes he appeared.
Goat looks like it’s based on true events. You’ll learn nothing out of it in the end. Only the ugly truth of hazing.