*Warning: This review contains 98237598732895723859 spoilers*
It's imperative to know what's going on in schools today. My high school memories dolefully pale in comparison to these although I did smoke marijuana and skip school a lot. This Aussie film features some of the most fucked up characters on screen I have ever seen. The teens issues range from being gay, to rape, to pregnancy, and having two urethra's that make you accidentally piss yourself all day at school. 2:37 is an edge of your seat look into the lives of these troubled teens and it leaves you feeling utterly desolated. The biggest issue is suicide. It opens with a suicide only we don't know who the troubled soul is until the film plays in reverse and lets us play the guessing game "whodunit." I was a bit surprised to see who actually carried out the deed and I found the scene hard to watch. For some reason, suicide scenes have always been hard for me. Especially when it involves a wrist cutter. All the blood and crying, along with hyperventilating, are hard to watch.
I felt compelled to dig into the back story of the film because it ended with a "RIP Kelly." Turns out, the director made this film as a way to move on. The director was 23 at the time and it only happened three years ago so it hardly seems like enough time to heel but it did motivate other troubled souls around the world to contact him and tell them how his film changed their life. His friend Kelly committed suicide in the same horrific manner after suffering from severe depression and she also mailed him a video explaining how unhappy and helpless she was feeling. This added on to Murali K. Thalluri's shock and depression. Thalluri then attempted suicide but it didn't work. He recovered and learned to enjoy life then put all of those emotions into 2:37 and touched others dealing with so much pain and suicidal feelings. He felt that people needed to know that others are going through the same emotions and he wanted to prevent it. The film had a lot of controversy waiting for it thanks to Aussie journalists. They demanded to see the video tape of the girl who is the inspiration behind 2:37. Thalluri couldn't believe this and refused. Mostly so it wouldn't bring her family more pain. They doubted the young lads credibility and they're monsters for this. They stalked Thalluri and his sister, trying to dig up as much dirt about him as possible. That is, until legendary Kevin Smith (who is a huge fan of the film) came to his defense, shutting them up. Mental health groups have described the film as being dangerous and they feel it will motivate individuals to hurt themselves but lets face it, this isn't the first film that dealt with suicide.
The performances were tremendous and unsettling. The cries, screams, laughter, and depression were all delivered perfectly. Teresa Palmer plays the pregnant girl who gets raped by her brother and she has this odd Aussie Kristen Stewart thing going on. Maybe it's the dark circles under her eyes and depression that does it. This was her acting debut as Melody. How do you deal with an issue like this? IT's so horrifying, I have to block it out of my mind because I am still shocked when I hear that any man wants to have sex with his sister. Frank Sweet as Marcus is without a doubt the most fucked up character in 2:37. For one, he rapes his sitter, but I wonder how he got this way? He did tell a story about how one night when his parents came home, he and his sitter Melody were asleep but he woke up and saw that they couldn't even make it to their room to carry on with the sex making. He said that it didn't sicken him. He also didn't say that it turned him on. This traumatic event triggers something deep inside his consciousness an results in the rape of his own sister. Marcus is also extremely competitive. Getting an 87 on a paper is NOT acceptable! He also appears to have a temper and I'm sorry but he's not very attractive. It's no wonder he has to rape his sister. Charles Baird as Steven is the teen that had the most of my sympathy. He has two urethras which caused him to wet himself accidentally throughout the day. I didn't even know this was possible. Poor guy gets laughed at and punched in the nose by a foot ball player that is embarrassed about liking cock. He also brings a pair of pants and underwear to change into in case of "accidents." Same Harris plays Luke, the football player who is embarrassed about liking cock and slightly resembles Joey in 10 Things I Hate About You. We get to see him masturbating to gay porn at the beginning of the film and he may be in a relationship with the beauty battling an eating disorder but he is also in a sexual relationship with Sean (Joel Mackenzie.) Sean is easily the most annoying character on film. Not because he loves cock but because he's fucking annoying. I do agree with his views on two homosexuals raising a child but everything before and after than made me want to put my television on mute. Then finally we have bolemic Sarah (Marni Spillane) who we want to see thrown off the stairs… Or out the window. Either or. Last but certainly not least, there's Kelly. I was surprised to see a character that wasn't one of the main six committed suicide. Kelly was like a ghost and you couldn't help but feel her loneliness. There is ZERO closure for any of these characters at the end. We don't know if Melody and Marcus decide to abort their inbred child and we don't know how the gay love triangle plays out. The credits rolls in with a depressing, slit your wrist song that make you leap to the dvd player to make the sadness stop!
This is far from a typical, cliche teen angst drama. The exquisite acting, ambiance, and hard work that Thalluri has put into this film deserves more credit because it scrapes upon many issues that have never been dealt with in cinema.