What raises this depiction of vulgar, white privileged males thrusting their pumped agressions, above simply being a titillating, callous and voyeuristic endurance fest, is the understated 'inner' performances of the two brothers. Their relationship, which is equally blurred as their misguided visions of the fraternity, speaks volumes. Deeply unpleasant and disturbing, all the more chilling given its factual basis.
Contrary to Richard Linklater's suggestion a house full of males fuelled by alcohol, testosterone and competative oneupsmanship is not the foundation of a utopian society. Who knew? Clearly none of the pledges. The most interesting part of the premise is that these people opt-in to the punishment, but ultimately that is underexplored.
I don't come away from this movie with any sense of these people at all. Everyone more or less does a decent job of acting (except for Nick Jonas who, as always, is inauthentic down to the smallest facial tic), but the narrative is too stridently in service to an idea or an indictment. The opening sequence is nice.
Under-rated. I will gladly explain why this film is well above average if contested. One of the most potent explorations of masculinity in modern cinema and the alpha male fratboy paradigm. A damning indictment on the idolatry of machismo and problematic notions of brotherhood.
Riveting and authentic, Goat is one of the most engaging and unforgettable experiences from the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Paramount wisely picked this gem up: a no holds bared, unrelenting character dissection. Goat perfectly depicts the milieu of fraternity and college life. It's dark tale about masculinity, security, and acceptance and what it means to be a brother. Captivating and electric.