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Love in Boys Don’t Cry Research Paper


Boys Don’t Cry denotes an American independent drama film of 1999 whose director is Kimberly Peirce and its co-writer is Andy Bienen. The movie is a performance of the actual-life account of Brandon Teena, acted in the movie by Hilary Swank. In the movie, there is raping, assaulting, and murdering of Hilary Swank by his male friends prior to their discovering that he is actually female.

The film discusses the themes of liberty, empowerment, bravery, and identity. A majority of the performers in the film campaigned for the best actor over the duration of three years. A then unidentified Swank shone, as her character appeared comparable to that of Teena. Many of personalities were anchored in actual-life individuals, while several were composites. Boys don’t cry movie has been mentioned as among the most controversial and discussed movies of 1999.

The movie was released concurrent with the killing of Matthew Shepard, a youthful gay man, which ignited further public concern (Blackman 12- 17). The film brings out the hardships that teenagers experience due to taking part in love affairs. In accordance with the film, love causes people start a long journey of harassment, laughter, and tears. Love in the 1999 American independent drama film Boys Don’t Cry is depicted through desperation and suffering as explicated in this paper.

Brandon (acted by Swank) signifies a youthful ‘man’ who was actually Teena Renae Brandon. At the time that Brandon was identified as a female by a sibling of a lady he at one time dated, he turns out to be a prey to physical dangers. In a short while, Brandon is entangled in a bar war and is thrown out from the trailer of his cousin.

In this regard, Brandon relocates to Falls City where he builds comradeship with ex-prisoners John Lotter (acted by Peter Sarsgaad) as well as Tom Nissen (acted by Brendan Sexton). Brandon also builds a friendship with pals of the ex-prisoners namely Candace (acted by Alicia) and Lana (acted by sevigny).

In the film, Lana turns out romantically engaged with Brandon (Blackman 18- 21). At this point, Lana is not aware of the actual sex and rotten past of Brandon. Both Lana and Brandon decide to relocate to Memphis. Later, Brandon is imprisoned for accusations that came into being before his moving to Memphis and was locked up in the women’s part at a jail in Falls City. Luckily, Lana pays a bail for the release of Brandon.

When Lana inquires from Brandon as to his reason for being locked up in the women’s section, Brandon deceives her that he was a hermaphrodite and that she would soon obtain a sex alteration to become a male. Lana affirms her affection for Brandon at whatever cost. Tom Nissen and John Lotter build suspicion when they find an article in a newspaper concerning Brandon that calls him Teena Brandon. Following their suspicion, Nissen and Lotter compel Brandon to take out his underwear, disclosing his genitals.

After attempting to make Lana have a look at it, she covers her eyes in refusal. Following the conflict Nissen and Lotter take Brandon to a secluded place, where beat, and aggressively rape him (Blackman 22- 24). Later, Brandon was taken to Tom’s residence. Despite injuries, Brandon flees through a window. In spite of threats from his attackers and warning against reporting the assault to the police, Lana is nevertheless able to persuade the troubled Brandon to file a case.

One evening after taking a lot of beer, Nissen and Lotter thought of killing Brandon. In spite of efforts to bar them, Nissen and Lotter head to Candace’s isolated residence where they get hold of Brandon. Brandon has been in a hideout in a shed at the residence of Candace. Lotter shot Brandon at the chin while Nissen shot at the head of Candace. In the meantime, Lana makes efforts to fight them as she shouts in a bid to stop them.

Lotter jabs the already dead body of Brandon while Nissen attempts to shoot at Lana. Luckily, Lotter prevents Nissen from shooting. After this act Lotter and Nissen escapes from the scene. Lana is left lying on the lifeless body of Brandon. The following morning, Lana woke up on the lifeless body of the scene and she carried her psychologically stressed daughter away (Blackman 25- 27). At the conclusion of the movie, Lana leaves Falls City and a correspondence written to her by Brandon is read.

Brandon chooses to leave his original residence subsequent to his thinking that people were aware of his criminal actions. In spite of Brandon being a female, it is hard to understand why he chooses to act like a male. Shockingly enough, Brandon as well lacks a proper explanation as to why he acts like a male. Nevertheless, Brandon is faultless at it and he is decided in dealing with possible gainsay. He chooses to relocate to Falls City where nobody is aware of his actual gender.

In Falls City, Boys Don’t Cry illustrates the element of love through desperation, which suppresses most of the ladies there. Most of the ladies in Falls City are in search of a man who could quench their thirst for love and companionship. In this city, Brandon meets Lana in her desperate state. Lana is in dire need of a man who could satisfy her sexual craving. After evaluating Brandon, Lana finds him kind and handsome. Never before has Lana been so sexually aroused by a man as Brandon does.

In this regard, Lana declares to go after Brandon at whatever cost. After realizing that Brandon is as well desperate for love, they both agree to settle for love and give it a chance to blossom (Blackman 28- 30). Despite learning that Brandon is truly a female, Lana is so desperate that she cannot succumb to this certainty. In spite of the confusion, Lana opts to believe and support Brandon; completely giving him her trust.

Fischer brings about a new reason as to why individuals fall in love (Fisher 23- 26). After evaluating a group of individuals that are totally in love, Fischer wraps up that love is extremely impressed in the brain of an individual. She speculates that sentiments do not portray love through feelings.

An individual could be under puppy love and still be sentimental. Nevertheless, puppy love does not mean that an individual is in true love as it may come out of desperation. In Boys Don’t cry, Brandon and Lana are somehow sentimental. However, this does not signify their love. Sentiments just function as a byproduct of their desperation (Swan 89- 92). Both are in a state of deep infatuation, which makes them sentimental. At some point both Lana and Brandon agree to flee even following their being together for a short time.

Lana is angered by the act of Lotter and Nissen humiliating Brandon. Lana and Brandon are so much in each other’s mind that they cannot wait to fall in love. The two lovebirds do not take time to assess if any of them is true to the relationship. They desire to stay together despite the circumstance. This appears evident when Brandon promises not to disappoint Lana in spite of the pressures from Lotter and Nissen. On the same note, Lana promises to be by Brandon’s side in spite of all abnormalities.

In the end of it all, Lana and Brandon suffer because of love. Lotter and Nissen humiliate Brandon publicly following their realization that Lana cannot give in to the claim that Brandon is neither a male nor a hermaphrodite. Their reason for humiliating Brandon is not based on his claiming to be a male but on the fact that he is able to win the heart of Lana; something that Lotter had tried to no avail for a long time.

On his part, Brandon is totally determined to bear every kind of suffering and he declares not to vacate Falls City without Lana. Boys Don’t Cry illustrates a bitter end of individuals who seek to go beyond all odds in a bid to gratify life craving through love (Blackman 31- 36).

Hatfield and Walster affirm that during a love incidence everybody is skillful (34- 45). They maintain that in a bid to be in love with someone of the opposite gender, individuals regard aspects such as money, individuality, and physical look. They affirm that love and affection could be either obsessive or companionate. Obsessive love is sentimental and full of uncertainty and concern (Hatfield and Walster 34- 45).

On the other hand, companionate love is illustrated by a strong affection and connection towards a person. In the film Boys Don’t Cry, love is illustrated through suffering and confusion. As Hatfield and Walster (34- 45) affirm in their publication, obsessive love is packed with suffering. These aspects emerge almost entirely in the movie. Lana in reality is aware that Brandon is not a male after being in love for a long time. Throughout the entire period, Brandon has been deceiving Lana and taking her for granted.

Nonetheless, Lana talks about how she takes pleasure in their affection and is confused. Lana is so obsessed with Brandon that she cannot discover deserting him at this time even following such obvious actuality. For a long period, Lana had never encountered a man who would make her experience love or one that would treat her with affection.

Brandon comes into view and he satisfies all that Lana had been longing to have for a long period (Blackman 38- 43). After some time in love, Lana comes to know that Brandon is a female. This result in Lana’s confusion as to whether to let go all the happy instances she has with Brandon or to disregard the allegations and progress with their relationship.

Her alternative to stay devoted to Brandon, in spite of the betrayal depicts the condition of confusion and suffering that is brought by love. When people fall in love, they turn out to be so obsessive that they are not able to the way existence could be without each other. In addition, it becomes almost impossible for persons in love to believe that they could ever again fall for such a wonderful individual (Karen 34- 38).

Having sought for a man that makes her satisfied, Lana believes that she may never find another individual like Brandon. Therefore, Lana suffers with the notion of ending their love or continuing in it.

Love is depicted through suffering and desperation. Suffering is what makes Brandon relocate to Falls City and search for a lover in a bid to forget concerning his past. His past life is filled with negativity and he desires to forget concerning it and progress in life.

Despites his awareness of what Tom Neisser and John Lotter are capable of, Brandon suffers between deserting Lana and maintaining the love. Brandon has aided him to overlook a lot things and he has a feeling that deserting her could cause him relapse to his past life. Boys Don’t Cry illustrates the suffering of Brandon on whether to confront Nissen and Lotter and spare his love or desert Lana.

The suffering heightens more with the raping, beating, and murdering of Brandon. The affirmation to stay in the city if he cannot relocate with Lana depicts an element of desperation. A state of desperation is also evident when Lana vows to remain with Brandon even after learning of his deceit. The two believe they are the reason for each other and that life would be worthless without their togetherness.

Works Cited

Blackman, Malorie. Boys Don’t Cry, New York: Corgi Children’s, 2011. Print.

Fisher, Helen. Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love, London: Holt Paperbacks, 2004. Print.

Hatfield, Elaine and William Walster. A New Look at Love: A Revealing Report on the Most Elusive of all Emotions, New York: University Press of America, Inc., 2003. Print.

Karen, Robert. Becoming Attached: First Relationships and How They Shape Our Capacity to Love, New York: Oxford University Press, 1994. Print.

Swan, Rachel. “Boys Don’t Cry.” Film Quarterly 54.3 (2001): 47-52. Print.

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IvyPanda. (2018, December 19). Love in Boys Don't Cry. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/love-in-boys-dont-cry/

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"Love in Boys Don't Cry." IvyPanda, 19 Dec. 2018, ivypanda.com/essays/love-in-boys-dont-cry/.

1. IvyPanda. "Love in Boys Don't Cry." December 19, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/love-in-boys-dont-cry/.


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IvyPanda. "Love in Boys Don't Cry." December 19, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/love-in-boys-dont-cry/.

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IvyPanda. 2018. "Love in Boys Don't Cry." December 19, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/love-in-boys-dont-cry/.

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IvyPanda. (2018) 'Love in Boys Don't Cry'. 19 December.

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