For Reel

The Wolfpack (2015)
July 14, 2015, 12:22 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Crystal Moselle
4 Stars
The WolfpackWhen discussing the responsibility of taking on the prestigious role of Batman in a home movie recreation, Mukunda Angulo defends, “That sounds pathetic to some people but to us and to our world it is very personal.” The world in question is an apartment in lower Manhattan that has served as a confinement cell to seven siblings for their entire adolescence. Director Crystal Moselle, who chanced upon the group of boys, approaches the family dynamic with an earnest humility. What could have easily played as a parade of eccentrics for the detached amusement of audiences is rendered as a delicate and hugely touching coming out story. The fact that the Angulo brothers are particularly invested in cinema and knew the outside world only through the screen leads to the occasional display of entertaining home movie footage, but what The Wolfpack really sinks its teeth into is dealing with abuse and how one grows and evolves from it. It’s also a modern telling of Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave”, which is made all the more compelling by the fact that the brothers are particularly well-spoken. They often seem rehearsed, which might very well be the case–these are the boys who exhaustively handwrite scripts of their favorite movies. But the feelings play as honest, and by the end it becomes an uncommonly accepting portrait of social misfits finally taking the chance to give the world their all.

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