Borstal Boy (2000)

Imdb Ranking 6.5

The movie opens in 1939, with sixteen year old IRA recruit Brendan Behan hiding dynamite in his trousers and getting on a boat for England. He begins to assemble a device when the door to his hotel room is broken down and he is arrested. Because he is only sixteen, he is not hung but is sentenced to four years in a "borstal" or reform school in East Anglia.

The school is run by Governor Joyce (Michael York), who seems to be a kind and just man. Brendan soon begins planning his escape because he thinks it is his duty. Brendan soon begins to find out that he has more in common with the other boys than he would have thought.

Governor Joyce's daughter Elizabeth reluctantly returns home from London where she was studying art. Brendan eventually becomes friends with Charlie, even though he doesn't want to, because he sees Charlie as being a homosexual. He tells him: "I'm not queer. I like girls."

Elizabeth needs a studio built and some of the boys, including Brendan, are picked to help her. When Elizabeth brings a British army man in to visit, Brendan introduces himself as a member of the Dublin division of the IRA. They both then compete in a game of rugby. After the game the army man give Brendan a bottle of whiskey (maybe the English aren't so bad). The boys see newsreels of German bombings of England.

The boys plan an escape but of the rougher kids invites himself in, but says that Charlie the queer is out. But Brendan plans an escape on his own and brings Charlie. Over the wall they go. The boys make it to the beach but two of them get blown up by a mine.

Governor Joyce blames the boys for the other boys death. He tells them to take responsibility for what they have done. The rough boy gets Brandon in bed and chokes him with a belt but Charlie saves him.

The boys put on a play by Oscar Wilde and some of them dress up as girls. Brandon is beginning to fall for Elizabeth as he continues to work on her studio but in a surprising turn he starts making out with Charlie.

Back at the dorms the boys find that Charlie has been stealing stuff they are going to assault him, When Elizabeth walks in out they are going to assault her. Brendan walks in and saves them both, but really hurts the ringleader.

Charlie ships off for war and his ship is soon blown up. Brendan tells Elizabeth that he had to come to England to find out that love is much stronger than hate. He says learned it from Elizabeth and Charles.

The movie was kind of interesting in portraying the borstal environment and the sexual confusion some teens can go through. The movie really didn't have much to do with the Irish. The movie was based on the memoirs of Brendan Behan,but the movie really could have been set any where.

Could have been better.