Beats, based on Kieran Hurley’s play; of the same name, and Co-written and directed by Brian Welsh (Black Mirror: The Entire History of You) tells the story of two teenagers living in the mid ’90s in a poor suburb of Scotland. On the surface the plot is reminiscent of 2007’s Superbad: awkward teenagers attempting to make it to a party while facing lot of logistical and humours obstacles. However, just few minutes in, the film unfolds to a graceful coming-of-age story that has lot of fun scenes that mix with the sad realization that these friends are growing apart by the circumstances surrounding them.
Johnno lives with his step-father and hard-working mother whom seem to always be arguing about his privacy, his wherabouts, and most of all his long-time friend Spanner; whom his mom worries is going to lead him stray.
Spanner is a troubled and neglected kid that lives with his older brother that besides being a drug dealer is a maniac that enjoys clushing with every decision he makes. Johnno’s parents are worry about the so called raving scene, but for these deprived kids that scene, its music, and the drugs that come with it, are the things to live for. To their eyes they are nothing but kids trying to have fun. Johnna being the more cared-for of the two undestands the danger of the drugs but doesn’t find the way to communicate that to its parents. In the other hand he also enjoys the care-free side of him that comes out when he is with Spanner. Adding to his troubles the rave scene is been that of the news and a recent government act is outlawing the raves, and specifically its music.
That act meant that the music that had been the soundtrack of their youth is being outlawed and worst of all their only source of escapism is being criminalized. Back at home Johnna dislikes his step-father’s new plan to move to a new neighboorhood. One with better streets and schools for Johnna. Which for him meant no more time to spend with Spanner, the only person who doesn’t judge his choices and encourages wild, free, side in him.
Overall I love the music, the aesthetics, and stylistic choices the film made, the acting is marvelous, and the script was an admirable piece of writing that manages to put together a story that will relate with anyone that has lost contact with a dear friend.
Here I leave you with one of the best part of this movie, its music.
Beats (2019) Soundtrack