“And Then I Go” is Vincent Grashaw’s most stunning and effective ‘troubled teen-age male’ movie to date. The first film that Mr. Grashaw made that I covered was called “Coldwater” and it did live up to its name in litterally tossing the cold water of the reality of the horror that is the summer rehabilitation camp for teenage boys on the viewer. But “And Then I Go” goes light years beyond that. Read this description of the film:
“In the cruel world of junior high, Edwin suffers in a state of anxiety and alienation alongside his only friend, Flake. Misunderstood by their families and demoralized at school daily, their fury simmers quietly until an idea for vengeance offers them a terrifying release. Based on the acclaimed novel “Project X” by Jim Shepard, this unflinching look at adolescence explores how the powerful bonds of childhood friendship and search for belonging can become a matter of life or death.”
I don’t know who wrote that, but whoever did is a genius. Maybe Vincent wrote it. But, regardless, folks, that’s not really what “And Then I Go” is about.
“And Then I Go” is about a school shooting.
What Edwin and Flake do is less important than the system of events of abuse both emotional and physical that led them to the action they took in the gymnasium of their junior hight school. This is not to normalize or to justify the action, at all. Just to explain that “And Then I Go” does what it’s supposed to do. It’s a study in the anatomy of a school shooting. A kind of simulator of life that we should see, if only once, and to better understand how we can change the story to change the outcome.
When Vince called me about doing a piece on “And Then I Go”, it just so happened to be a few days before the Parkland School Shooting in Florida. That trajedy was played out for the World on social media, and because of that, it took me a while to get up the courage to watch the screener for “And Then I Go”. But I did. Vincent got it right.
But what I see in Mr. Grashaw’s ‘getting it right’ means he captured a view of a society gone horribly wrong. Movies, good movies, are supposed to ping you, annoy you, upset you, and scare you. They’re supposed to make you ask questions about the World. “And Then I Go” is that kind of movie.
The thing about “And Then I Go” is that it doesn’t seem like it’s going to be that kind of movie, and then it kind of unrolls on you – and it is that type of movie.
Damn, you, Vincent Grashaw. I gotta say that.
You can buy “And Then I Go” on Amazon as a DVD with a click here.
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