“The War Boys”
An Excellent Film on Taboo Subjects
I do not know why “The War Boys” was not a popular movie, it has everything going for it—a good cast, a fine script, excellent cinematography and taboo subjects (well, I guess that is the reason). It is basically the story of three young vigilantes who wait to chase illegal immigrants back across the border and as they work, they develop borders within themselves and they must learn how to cross them.
Director Ron Daniels puts a lot of conflicts out there as we watch young men entering the adult world. The setting is a small town on the U.S./Mexican border and this where we meet the war boys—Grigorio (Victor Rasuk), a Hispanic American, David (Benjamin Walker), a law student at Duke, and George (Brian J. Smith), an insecure guy from a lower middle class family.
The plot is made up of the stories of the three. Grigorio has never had sex and is in love with Marta, an older beautiful woman who owns the doughnut shop. Both Marta and Grigorio need love but afraid of the consequences. In the past David and George have had a physical attraction for each other and we see this relationship as a man to present the challengers of male sexual identity. Slater (Peter Gallaher), David’s father and David have problems maintaining a father/son relationship and this is probably due to the son’s relationship with another male.
The film looks at boundaries—the boundaries of race, ethnicity, nationality, sexuality and the boundaries between generations. As if that is enough to consider, it also looks at prejudice against illegal immigrants and sexual identity. One of the most touching and beautiful scenes in the film is the love scene between George and David and we see how desire can take over adolescence and how that desire opens the door to maturity. We see lust as a form of love between the two who have been best friends all of their lives.
I suppose that where you are in life determines how you react to the film. I have read some reviews that totally panned it and I have read others who absolutely praise it from start to finish. Have a look and be your own judge.