In upstate New York, three boys tear through their childhood, in the midst of their young parents' volatile love that makes and unmakes the family many times over. While Manny (Isaiah Kristian) and Joel (Josiah Gabriel) grow into versions of their loving and unpredictable father (Raul Castillo), Ma (Sheila Vand) seeks to shelter her youngest, Jonah (Evan Rosado), in the cocoon of home. More sensitive and conscious than his older siblings, Jonah increasingly embraces an imagined world all his own. Framed with a unique visual style, 'We the Animals' taps into a childlike nostalgia whilst seamlessly integrating a range of complex issues such as sexuality, social class division, broken families and racial inequality through a mesmerising and dream-like narrative.
Mixed bag of a movie
- We the Animals review by TE
A brave attempt to create a collage-like, impressionistic study of three boys growing up with slightly older children as parents.
It works sporadically but leaves the viewer only semi-satisfied...it is rather like watching clippings from the editorial room floor, with little sense of overall narrative. Some scenes engage, others feel like 'filler'.
Jonah only emerges as the central character quite late on. His discovery of gay preference is sensitively portrayed, but there is a 'random' quality to the whole thing that makes for mixed feelings when looking back at the movie.