“I’ve always been quite sane about how insane I am,” the late Carrie Fisher once said. The sharp-witted advocate for mental health had a way of explaining the challenges facing those who suffer for those of us who do not know the struggle personally. While the loss of our greatest Princess was a major punch in the gut, mental health is sadly here to stay. A Young Man’s Future is a tragic reminder wrapped in a heartfelt story.
Director and writer Edgar Michael Bravo’s latest work, A Young Man’s Future, offers a revealing and emotional view of the challenges of mental illness. As two young men are fast-approaching graduation they fall in love and start making plans about the life awaiting them off campus.
Jeremy (Jordan Becker) is a somewhat shy and reserved student. Just coming off of a long-term relationship, Jeremy is focused on finishing his studies. However, a quiet afternoon in the park is interrupted when a curious onlooker approaches. The young man is Scott (Taylor Clift), and his cute smile is about to change Jeremy’s life. After some playful conversation, the two young men acknowledge an interest in one another and decide to share a meal together.
As time passes, Jeremy and Scott develop a loving and harmonious relationship, even in spite of the dissatisfaction of Scott’s father, Bill (gruffly played by Derek S. Orr). As graduation approaches, Scott looks forward to a bright career as a mechanical engineer. His gift at mathematics in unparalleled, and with Jeremy he sees a bright and beautiful future ahead. That is, until many long nights of insomnia start affecting him.
Scott gradually starts to grow paranoid, believing people around him may be trying to poison him. Jeremy watches as his lover spirals into mania, culminating with a stay in the hospital that reveals Scott is suffering from schizophrenia. Saddled with the responsibility of Scott’s long-term care, Jeremy must decide what direction his future must lead.
Edgar Michael Bravo clearly did his homework when writing this film. The director manages to weave an accurate and honest portrayal of mental health, in particular with schizophrenia. All of the small telltale signs are here, including the inability to relate to others, the paranoia, and even Scott’s decision to stop taking his meds because he “just doesn’t feel right.” It is quite easy to find one’s self in Jeremy’s shoes, deciding between his bright future or caring for his tragically ill lover. A tough choice to make at one of the many crossroads in life’s journey. In fact, even as the credits roll, you will probably still be wondering what you might do if you were Jeremy.
All pictures reproduced courtesy of No Restrictions Entertainment