Breaking Glass Pictures follows the success of 2013’s Geography Club with the release of their latest title, Coldwater, in theaters and on VOD August 22, 2014. Coldwater will be playing at Toronto’s Carlton Cinema and Kingsway Theatre.
Coldwater was a fictional exposé of real abuses that happened in some of the juvenile rehabilitation facilities in America. Each State has as least two per my quick search. These facilities are for delinquent teens, up to 17, where their parents have consented their kids to be reformed. In other words, it seems they are either at their wit’s end, or they just don’t want to deal with their kids anymore.
Here was the dissonance I had when I watched it: Should I side with the kids, despite their abhor behaviour and out of control anger? or should I side with the “Staff”, who are there to turn these kids to be of value to the society, despite the methods they use? or should I empathise with the pain and suffer parents need to go through, yet perhaps they are the ones who mold their kids’ behaviours? If I sided with no one, this film would have become a void. Fortunately, P.J. Boudousqué as the lead, Brad Lunders, carried this film from start to end. His profile was a dead ringer for Ryan Gosling.
Property of Breaking Glass Pictures.
Coldwater juvenile rehabilitation facility is run by an ex-army Colonel Frank Reichert(James C. Burns), his staff are made up of those who once had been delinquents themselves, and they chose to stay and train the newcomers, so to speak. Colonel Reichart’s model of behavioural modification is based simply on discipline, manual work, and daily routines. Successful inmates will leave the facility understanding the real meaning of responsibility.
Brad is a trouble teen with pent-up anger. His father has left and his mother, Doris(Raquel Gardner) is taking her boyfriend in. Either getting rid of his son so that she could start a new life, or she really wants his son to get help, Brad is kidnapped and forcefully pushed into a truck in the middle of the night while his mom and boyfriend holding each other looking on…
Brad is transported to Coldwater, where the new inmates stand in a line formation like new recruits, and they are inspected by Colonel Reichert. In the lineup is a perpetual shoplifter, Jonas Williams(Octavius J. Johnson), who later becomes Brad’s friend, and they cover for each other. They are barracked with standard double-bunker beds, and monitored by a trustee, Josh Warrick (Nicholas Bateman), who Brad despises.
I have to say the rest was pretty textbook in the sense of disciplinary guardians met rebellious teens. Flashbacks were the medium used to convey Brad’s story before arriving at the facility. Since the facility was funded partly by the State, there were bureaucrats who audited the facility, but colluded with the Colonel. There were disciplinary punishments for bad behaviours, and despite the Colonel tight controlled of his appointed medical doctor, Dr. William Jenson(Douglas Bennett), eventually things got out of hand, and out of control.
In order for Brad to indict the facility wrong doings, he has to collect evidence…will he succeed or further put his life and others in danger?
WATCH…likely P.J. Boudousqué breakout performance, and the last fifteen minutes will put you on edge.