This year’s best teen movie so far!
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I didn’t intend to watch TV on Saturday night but I flicked on the remote to Film 4. It was here that I got drawn into the film ‘The Bully From Cyberspace’ which captured my attention immediately.
It all starts with a playground put-down: “my brother wears shoes like that and he’s ten.” T, the main character is walking into school with her friends and Queen Bee L decides to embarrass her. Why, you may ask? Jealousy? Insecurity? Who knows? However, comments like that are the least of T’s worries as teen-on-teen conflict transforms into something more sinister: Cyber bullying.
Up until her 17th birthday, T’s mum has been strict about her computer usage to the point that T’s friends remark that “she doesn’t even have the internet on her phone.” T is thrilled when her mum buys her a laptop for her birthday. This marks the turning point in the film.
There is a clue in the film’s title that our heroine T is going to be the victim of this awful crime and it’s not long before she signs up to a social networking site which like Facebook includes: friend requests, status updates and messaging. Things take a nasty turn when T gets a friend request from a gorgeous guy but little does she know that it’s a fake profile. Her life spirals out of control as she is branded all kinds of horrible names and gets a reputation on-line. When it comes to the surface that her best friend created the fake profile, T is left saddened, shocked and suicidal.
This film deserves an Oscar, not only for its fantastic cast of teen actors, such as: Joe Bloggs, Fred Bloggs and Josephine Bloggs but because of the realistic issues that are raised. Every key character in the film has been a victim of bullying either face-to-face or on-line, from T’s traitor best friend to D, the gay teenager who shares his experience with T when they receive group counselling with other teenagers who are going through the same experience.
Similarly, like other American high school drama, the film conveys a contrast between the popular kids versus everyday teenagers who are often at the bottom of the food chain. However, the film challenges this when T stands up to Queen Bee L, as a result, all the other students do likewise. Good triumphs over evil.
I think this is a powerful and dramatic film which raises awareness of how serious cyber bullying is. I was particularly moved during the scene where T is pacing her bedroom