By: Movie Snurb (Two Beers) –
Recovering after a very violent attack, Brad (Ben Schnetzer) suffers towards the end of his senior year in high school. He begins to question whether he should start school on time or wait and process his attack. After talking things over with his older brother Brett, (Nick Jonas, yes from the Jonas Brothers) he decides to go to college to rush his brothers’ fraternity. Clearly Brad has not had closure on his attack and the hazing starts to become too much for Brad and too much for Brett to watch. However, the ultimate horrible event doesn’t happen to Brad or Brett.
This is based on the book Goat: A Memoir by Brad Land. He transferred to Clemson University after a brutal attack and followed in his brothers’ footsteps and joined the largest fraternity on campus. Goat was clearly a story that should be told to give parents and kids caution before just running out and joining a fraternity. Fraternities offer what seems like a great fix for kids who feel a sense of needing to belong to a group, however it’s a simple fix for those kids. Fraternities are not for everyone and this film shows that. However, just because you don’t belong in a fraternity doesn’t mean you don’t belong anywhere. College offers a place for everyone, which is the beautiful thing about college. This film shows that unfortunate fact for young 18-year-old men just seeing the “glamour” of joining a social fraternity, advising taking a step back and really thinking if this is for them or not.
Surprisingly, the script that was rumored to be passed around for a bit was able to convey this message clearly and with purpose. Many times when a script goes to multiple people or though several rewrites it will only spell disaster for that film. However, this film was able to survive and bring to light a difficult subject that needs to be talked about.
The acting is very good from the entire cast. Especially during the Hell Week process, the fraternity brothers could’ve really gone overboard with the hazing and yelling and it would’ve became a little too after school special. Nick Jonas shows that he can actually act; I don’t think he has an Oscar in the near future, but maybe if he keeps working at it he could become quite a talent. Also James Franco, who is a producer, makes an appearance as an older fraternity brother from the class of 2000, who can’t let go of the past. He goes balls to the wall for about 5 minutes and it’s fun for Franco fans to watch.
I was disappointed in the film’s ending. I feel like we never really get resolution on Brad’s attack which led him into the entire fraternity situation. I’m not sure if I missed something or if the film’s ending is just open to interpretation, but I do not think the ending worked at all.
Despite the off-putting ending, it did not take away from the overall effect of Goat. Fraternity hazing is something that will always be around, even with the stricter rules that seem to be coming out to prevent it. I do not agree with it, and this movie is probably embellished on what goes on during a Hell Week, but this film is a good disclaimer for parents and kids going to college alike.
Goat (2016) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time there’s a mention of the Goat, and when he appears on screen
Do a Shot: every time there is hard partying depicted
Do a Shot: every time you wonder why guys put themselves through that torture for “friends”
Take a Drink: for every punch thrown