A Brooklyn Bad Boy Wants It Both Ways in “Beach Rats”

Written by | Entertainment, Screen

Beach Rats

Frankie (pictured, center) is noticeably smart and obviously handsome, but he’s aimless: his main occupation seems to be kicking around Coney Island with his buddies like a pack of young wolves. But it may seem to Frankie that there is little else to do at age 18, in the heat of the summer, while his father lies dying on a hospice bed in his living room. So he borrows some of Dad’s painkillers and flirts with girls down by the boardwalk — even though it seems that he’s more interested in cruising for men in gay video chat rooms and secluded stretches of sand by the highway. Writer/director Eliza Hittman follows Frankie on a dreamy and somewhat haunting meander through the thick and confounding fog of youth and lets us play voyeur to his clumsy quest for identity. THE WORD: At 95 minutes, the film is short and spare — choosing always to show rather than tell, it deftly employs a cast of non-actors to capture the authentic feel of outer Brooklyn. COMING TO: Theaters

Last modified: March 28, 2019