Cast: Ben Schnetzer, Nick Jonas, Gus Halper
Director: Andrew Neel
Rated: R for disturbing violence, graphic sexuality and language
Synopsis: A 19 year old guy suffers from a brutal assault. While he is recovering from his injuries, he is impressed with his brother’s fraternity as it gives him a false sense of security. He decides to enroll into the same college with his brother to join the fraternity. What happens then in the fraternity’s initiation process will test him and his loyalty to his brother in a vicious way.
There is a certain element of mysticism when it comes to fraternities. A lot of wannabes want to join these groups so that they can be popular, get to party hard, date attractive girls and use their network to get good jobs after moving out of college. Problem is that not everyone can get into a frat. There is a certain prestige that the network frats have and they have their own methods of choosing a “so called” brother. The initiation process to filter out “the brothers” is often brutal. The hazing of the individuals often leads to physical and psychological trauma. This movie showcases exactly that and rattles you out of your comfort zone.
Movie Review GoatBen Schnetzer the main protagonist (playing Brad) is a completely sympathetic and damaged character here. Nic Jonas his brother (playing Brett) is a more complex character and we are unsure as to where his loyalties lie. The film starts with Brad agreeing to offer a ride to complete strangers at night. After a twenty minute ride down a deserted Brad realizes that he is in trouble. He is mugged, beaten up brutally and left to die in the middle of a field. He somehow makes it back home with his face badly scarred and bruised.
What follows next is that Brad enrolls into his brother’s college to join the fraternity. He thinks that the fraternity can provide him the much needed security and protection. Thereafter, begins the “Hell Week” in the initiation process. As a part of the hazing, the pledges are stripped, tied up, slapped, made to drink alcohol up to nauseating levels and urinated upon. As the hell week moves on the stakes become increasingly more violent, humiliating and torturous.
GOAT is not a light movie for teenagers or college kids. It is raw, unforgiving and shows the darker side of college life. The film will make you uncomfortable. GOAT does well to expose the harshness and the dangers of Hazing. It gives a pretty no holds barred look at one of college’s oldest traditions. However, other than the dark and disturbing material, the movie little to offer in terms of narrative. It dishes out a good lesson to those who want to get popular real quick by joining some brotherhood. Whenever we join any group, it is better that we analyze whether or not this group is valuable for our personal growth.
This is admittedly one of the better movies that I have watched this week. The acting of both Ben Schnetzer and Nick Jonas is spot on. The screenplay of the movie is intense and it majorly kept me on the edge of the seat. My only gripe with the movie is that the things were largely unresolved with Brad and I was not too happy with the ending. My overall verdict for the movie is a solid 6/10.
You can also check out my reviews and recommendations of other films in the Movies page.