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Bullied film review


Directed by: Angela How

Written by: Angela How

Starring: Jacinta Klassen, Lulu Fitz, Kirar Mercy, Akira Matsumoto, Giustino Della Vedova, Candice Leask, Saya Minami

Poster for Bullied showing protagonists.
Poster for Bullied

As the title suggests, this film is about bullying and bad people.

Charlotte (Klassen) is a student, who lives in a big house with her parents and younger sister. However, she is also being the target of bullies at school, who are led by Brenda (Fitz). She endures as much as she can, but things take a turn for the worse when she finally stands up to them. To complicate matters further, family members come to visit them during the Christmas holidays and it becomes apparent that there is a very sinister side to one of her relatives.

How's feature film debut begins as a drama about bullying and turns into a psychological thriller about a disturbed individual. There are plenty of scenes that show merciless bullying and the movie explores the effects it has on the victims. The tension and suspense rise after a person goes missing and the seemingly harmless and joyful relative reveals their true nature. The plot moves from trouble at school to life-threatening situations and it does not do so effectively. First there is bullying, then a missing person, then a disturbed individual. The screenplay does not do a good job in putting these elements together. Once the feature is over, the viewer might feel as if they watched two films with different stories.

Klassen leads the story well as the bullied one, who receives no help from the adults but is also able to stand up for herself. She lives in a nice household and means well. Unfortunately, trouble comes her way and she is forced to deal with it. Fitz delivers a strong performance as the head of the bullies out to get her. The rest of the protagonists do a convincing job.

The film is very well made and contains interesting use of slow motion and dissolve editing techniques. Aiko Fukushima's music includes a dramatic violin score, which goes well with the scenes.

This Australian movie raises awareness about the issue of bullying. There is drama, suspense, intriguing characters and nail-biting moments, making it watchable. It is a shame that the way the narrative is structured leaves the audience confused.


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