What's it about:
Two brothers waste their time streaming porn, playing video games and watching the world go by, through their window. A drunken mum that shows up only to bring chaos into their lives. And an animal lover that threatens to take their dog, Taliban, away. A life without boundaries inevitably ends in loss.
What I experienced:
So, the dude (Justice Smith) from The Get Down was in this and I can't get over how crazy good he is and was. I don't think I've ever seen someone take on the characteristics of a dog so well. His character, Bobby, is the 14 year old brother with the other being the 16 year old brother, Hench (Lucas Hedges). These two live in a small apartment on their own - no mother, no money, barely any clothes, and no boundaries. They do have a dog - Taliban - that lives locked away in Hench's room. Enter their neighbor, who before today Bobby thought was a creepy girl that wanted to get into his brother’s pants, but alas all she cared about was the dog. It’s not the only thing that ends up changing her life.
Even though there isn’t an actual dog visible on stage, I totally got the metaphor since dogs are known for being the most loyal creatures. They are unconditional lovers that will protect regardless of the outcome. Bobby is that for Hench. Each from different fathers, but that hasn’t altered the connection and sense of protection that they have over one another. Bobby, much like a puppy, wants to please others and be loved. Being that his drunken mum isn’t around, Bobby, even though he is the younger of the two, is extremely protective of Hench. When the girl from across the road comes in and threatens to take the dog, Bobby takes time to warm up to her. Meanwhile, Hench seems to be mesmerized by the mere presence of a female that isn’t completely inebriated on his living room floor. Eventually, the girl becomes a sort of light in the boys' lives, but like everything in these guys' lives this happiness comes with consequence.
Hench, being the one who has had enough with his mother’s unstable tendencies, plans a little getaway with the girl from across the road making sure that Bobby is ‘taken care of’ by his mother and Taliban if left with her mother’s boyfriend. For a couple times throughout the play, I saw that Hench had issues with being touched and although that isn’t explained, I don't think it would be that farfetched to assume that his mum or her ‘friends’ could have some responsibility. Suffering from one of his panic attacks he lashes out at the girl from across the road and as she leaves Hench, he is left desperately sobbing.
There is so much weight left behind from what happens that night, that it can’t really be described without seeing it. It seems that chaos viciously follows the pair of brothers. Their sense of desperation is something I’m familiar with, which made me feel their end that much harder. These are the times I usually try to contain my reaction, but in all honesty I couldn’t. I didn’t cry, but thy way things played out for them was the type of thing I’m glad is fiction…. or at least when it comes to this story.