Harsh Realities Aren't Whitewashed in Artsy Kisses
- Monday, August 02, 2010
Still, Kisses won't sit well with everyone. With plenty of coarse language (a trademark of the rough and tumble Irish culture) and disturbing plotlines involving abuse, Kisses probably won't be many Christian moviegoers' preferred medium for that always-relevant reminder. And truth be told, it's not a mindless story that's easily enjoyed with a great big ol' bucket of popcorn either.
But for anyone who wants an up-close-and-personal look at what life is probably like for runaways in Ireland's not-so-glamorous neighborhoods, Kisses is a compelling film that doesn't whitewash these troubling realities.
Drugs/Alcohol: Dylan's father is an abusive alcoholic who spends the bulk of his days drinking and acting violent as a result.
Language/Profanity: Repeated uses of the "f" word uttered in an Irish brogue (several instances from the young protagonists themselves), plus a smattering of other profanity.
Sex/Nudity: Kylie's peers inquire whether (or not) she and Dylan have had sex yet. They crudely encourage Dylan to take advantage of her in a variety of different sexual capacities (oral and otherwise). We learn that Kylie's uncle (who is in his early thirties) has forced Kylie to perform oral sex on him (he says that no one would ever believe her if she reported it). After leaving home, Kylie and Dylan get on a man's shipping boat, and the much older man inappropriately swats Kylie on the backside, even though we're supposed to take away a playful spirit from the exchange. Nonetheless, it's still creepy. At one point, Kylie is kidnapped by the Sack Man and a friend and almost raped (Dylan comes to her rescue). After escaping from her captive, she and Dylan run through several people's flats, and eventually, into a topless bar where several women's breasts are in full view. Toward, the end of the movie Kylie and Dylan vow to always be there for each other and kiss in an awkward, pre-teen way.
Violence: Dylan's dad not only hits his mother, but Dylan himself. In retaliation, Dylan hurls an object at his father's head, leaving a substantial gash. After leaving home, Dylan and Kylie's lives are threatened on multiple occasions, and both are beat up physically and emotionally. Later on, they discover the corpse of a young man among the garbage heap they slept in one night.
Religion: Dylan believes God and Satan are as imaginary as Santa Claus. After the long journey away from—and back to—his abusive home, Kylie surmises that "There is no devil. Just people."
Christa Banister is a full-time freelancer writer, specializing in music, movies and books-related reviews and interviews and is the author of two novels, Around the World in 80 Dates and Blessed Are the Meddlers. Based in Dallas, Texas, she also weighs in on various aspects of pop culture on her personal blog.
For more information, including her upcoming book signings and sample chapters of her novels, check out her Website.
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