“Goat” is so far from what you’d expect from a Jonas Brother movie that calling it a Jonas Brother movie misses the boat. It is true that it stars Nick Jonas. But given that he delivers a considered, nuanced performance as someone besides himself, and given that this adaptation of Brad Land’s 2004 eponymous memoir is about as far from a pop-star vehicle as an American indie about white men can get, let’s dispense with any biases you may bring to this film. I had to, and I’m glad I did.
Ironically, this is about a fraternity, which easily could qualify it as a boys-will-be-boys lark a la “Animal House” or “Neighbors.” Directed by Andrew Neel, “Goat” is a more serious venture – one that tackles the sadism of this all-American institution with a refreshing candor.
The film begins with a blurred close-up of a mass of shirtless frat brothers bounding up and down and howling in a primal scream drowned out by a wordless, ambient Arjan Miranda composition. It is a shot that summons the ecstasy of a primitive tribe. Continue Reading →