Video Review: Bronski Beat “Smalltown Boy”

A train rolls on the tracks. Jimmy stares at the empty seat in front of him. He avoids watching middle-class suburban homes, gas stations, and a parking lot of buses through the window.

A young man dives into a pool inside the school.

He eats his sandwich on the train. At the train stop, he picks up his tickets from the tray. He walks on the platform and takes his seat on the subway.

At home, his mom pours coffee. She sits in her chair and eats her cereal. He drinks his coffee. His mom gives him an hard-boiled egg. They watch as he tries to break the shell. In black-and-white photos, his parents pose with their family and friends on their wedding. His mom holds him in her arms as a child. He walks with his brother outside.

Jimmy watches the young man jump off the diving board and into the pool. Larry and Steve stop by to talk to him. The young man smiles as he looks over at his shoulder at Jimmy. In the locker room, Steve and Larry wish Jimmy luck. Jimmy walks up to the young man and tells him he likes him.

At night, Jimmy and his friends leave the restaurant. Jimmy runs from the young man chasing him on the motorcycle. His eyes widen as the young man and his friends walk to him.

Back at home, his mom opens the door and sees Jimmy standing with the police officer. His dad turns around to see his son, his face bruised and cut from being beat up. His parents sit with him on the couch as the police officer explains the confrontation. His mom cries as he dad yells at him. The police officer tries to calm his father down.

In the morning, Jimmy carries his duffel bag out the door. His mom hugs him and his hands him some money. His mom tells him to be careful.

His friends put their luggage over the bin as they say hello to Jimmy. Jimmy takes a bite of his apple and offers it to Larry. They get off at the next stop together.

Rating: 5/5

Larry puts some dishes in the cardboard. Steve carries bags into their apartment. Jimmy opens the bags and puts the food in the refrigerator. Larry says he’ll talk to them later as he leaves for his shift. Steve asks Jimmy if he’s feeling better. Jimmy says but he’s still afraid to even like someone. Steve says he knows of a couple of bars they can go to once he feels up to going out.

Jimmy sits on the couch and says he really believed he had a chance with the young man.Steve tells him the young man may be fighting his own feelings. The attack wasn’t his fault. Jimmy puts his head on Steve’s shoulder and says he rather not be in love with anyone again. Steve tells him they won’t let anything like that happen to him. Steve apologizes for telling him to talk to the young man. Jimmy says they were only trying to help him.

Jimmy answers the phone. His mom asks him how he’s doing and when they can visit. He tells him they have finally settled into the apartment. He adds he starts his new job tomorrow. His mom says she’s happy for him. His dad asks him where he’s working. He says it’s at a store. They tell him good luck in unison. He says he’ll talk to him later.

Director: N/A Year: 1984

Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit ,Greatest City Collective & 45 Magazine . Fevers of the Mind, and forthcoming in Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kirstofia anthology.

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