“bwoy” Movie Review and Analysis from a Black Queer Feminist POV

Movie poster for film "bwoy"
Movie poster for film "bwoy"
Movie poster for film “bwoy”

“bwoy” is a brilliant movie about a white male attempting to connect and deal with the grief of a tragedy that occurred within his family.  His attempts are thwarted as he slowly becomes engulfed in an online fantasy that threatens to destroy the remains of what has become his life.

“bwoy” is produced by Novo Novus Productions, most known (at least by me) for their online drama-comedy “Drama Queens”.  It is produced, directed, and written by John G. Young.

 

 

Review & Analysis

 

*Spoiler Alert*

            This film is brilliant.  And it is not just that the story arc must be one of the most completed plot lines I have seen in an EXTREMELY long time, but it is the attention to the small details that truly made me yell at my TV in admiration.

 

As a black gay man who frequents online chatrooms and dating sites, I already knew the outcome of this story. With that said, I could focus on the intricate details as the overarching world outside of Brad’s online fantasy began to reveal itself.  These details expose and exploit various themes that I did not expect to be written into this film.  The overarching theme being, white male supremacy in a neo-colonial timeframe.  Brad is a privileged white man in America and that is clear from the beginning of the movie.  He utilizes this privilege to ascertain what he wants, as do most white people in the world.  In this instance, he is seeking to claim and own a black male body (sounds familiar?) in other nations. And if you are wondering, I could not ORIGINALLY see why he couldn’t just get a black booty boy in the entire state of New York or any other state in America.

 

Brad does this by going on a gay online dating website called M2M seeking a black young male son figure for which he can be a “top daddy”.  This particular relationship mimics the parent/child relationship created by colonialism with Europeans (Brad) being the parent or authority figure and the God forsaken “other” countries (Yenny) being the child or conquered figure.  However, in this scenario, we are experiencing this being played out in a world where colonialism has already taken place and roles are already set up to mirror global political relationships.  Yenny, who was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica and resides with his uncle, has seemingly come to accept the symbiotic relationship as his nation has been victimized many times over by European regimes and corporations.

 

 

Brad understands this and utilizes that knowledge to gain leverage, at least from his point of view.  It is because of this, he solely searches for black men in third world countries. His white privilege is not only is solidified due to the understanding of white supremacy there, but his power would be never be threatened as it MAY be with an America black male.  The white savior complex/fantasy that we see towards the end of the movie is threatened by the many opportunities that black males apparently have in America. This understanding places Brad and Yenny in a relationship that allows them to create a safe space for their assumed fantasies.  Yenny appears to want to be owned, conquered, and saved by the great white foreign entity that is Brad.  Brad wants to own, conquer, and save poor Yenny.

 

Without Brad knowing, Yenny uses this knowledge to gain leverage in their relationship.  Yenny portrays himself as the willing participant while only gaining what he “NEEDS” from the masculine party.  These gender roles are enforced by the neo-colonialism accepted by both parties and are indeed in place in this relationship. Brad is not only the father figure, but is the masculine party in this relationship.  Yenny understands this and accepts this, thus stepping into the role of the feminine party.  Despite Yenny being a masculine male, he bows and accepts the dominance of Brad.  Yenny reassures Brad that he is there to serve and please him.

 

And again, Yenny uses the knowledge of this agreement to gain apparent leverage in their relationship.  Yenny understands that Brad needs this, especially as he is dealing with the grief of his deceased child, who is also a person of color.  Even though Brad did not tell Yenny right away about his child and never told him about his wife.  Yenny, as anyone who plays the game of wits, could see Brad is a broken man.  And as we ascend, or descend (depending on how you look at it), from Brad’s fantasy into his overarching world, it is clear that Brad is broken.

 

Once a successful physician, loving husband, and attentive father (as we would assume), Brad is now a Call Center Account Representative who dismisses his wife, who is a black woman, and chats with Yenny and sleeps in his deceased son’s room.  His wife, Marcia, is an alcoholic who dismisses all forms of disrespect by Brad.  Marcia casually moves to the side in the wake of Brad’s malfunction.  Marcia cautiously watches the destruction of her once bountiful relationship in a house where child died.

 

Marcia is truly in the place Yenny pretends to be in.  Brad dominates Marcia and reinforces gender roles without having specify pronouns or duties.  It is as if the mistreatment and misogyny is simply unspoken yet known and understood.  Here you can see the true difference in power between males who partake in feminine roles and women who are often forced into those roles.  Marcia is a Black American woman who is now forced to suffer at the hands of a White American man who demands full dominance at all costs.

Marcia is the true victim of this movie.  She is the muted whipping girl who never speaks more than a few words.  Blaming herself for the death of her child when it was Brad who was too distracted by an online dating site for men to notice their child drowning in his pool.  Marcia is truly an image of women who have suffered at the hands of European colonialism, patriarchy, and the general brokenness of men across the world.  Despite all this, she remains loyal, because there truly seems to be nowhere else she can go.  The movie portrays the house almost as an island, better yet a prison island.  We never see Marcia leave, while it is like she is never truly there.  It’s like she is a ghost who haunts the quarters of her previous life alongside a wraith who attempts to destroy it.

 

Brad burns what Marcia desperately attempts to savage.  Where Marcia sees her deceased child’s room as a sacred place with a holy ambience, pausing to even step into it, Brad seeks out men to colonize and own within those sacred quarters.  Brad speaks to Yenny, masturbates to and with Yenny, and contemplates his escape to Yenny in the holy grounds that again, is his son’s room.  Yenny is the demon that has corrupted the vestiges of Marcia’s life, turning what is sacred into the mundane.  Invited by the wraith that was once her husband.

 

It isn’t until the wraith is gone and the demon has corrupted the last qualifying aspects of her marriage that she realizes and confirms the identity of the demon.  This is sadly accomplished by going onto Brad’s M2M profile page, which he left open in their deceased son’s room.  But from the remains of that which is destroyed we can find what is new.  With the demon’s name now spoken and banished, I think that Marcia can let go of her pain as Brad is now gone.  And along with him, his demon and his cum stained shawls. She puts her alcohol in a trash bag and we see her walk to the door as a flash of light hits the screen.  She has escaped the haunted house that has become a damned island.  Revived, she has freed herself from the demons haunting her. Freedom!

 

With that being understood, we now begin to follow the wraith on his quest to seek the demon he made the unholy agreement with.  Brad’s departure was prompted by the fact that Yenny was seemingly assaulted by his uncle while they were video chatting online. This contextual occurrence in Brad minds helps him make the final decision to leave his wife and seek justice for, in Yenny and Brad’s own words per their agreement, his “Jamaican Pussy Bwoy”.  He leaves for what he now assumes as the homophobic and hostile state of Jamaica.  Of course, him being a white man with money, once he gets there he purchases a gun illegally all while staying in a nice hotel in the city of Kingston, Jamaica.

 

With his white privilege and his gun, Brad travels to the house he pinned as the uncle of Yenny’s via an online searches.  He goes there with all intent to capture & save his “Jamaican Pussy Bwoy” Yenny.  However, in this attempt he comes to the harsh realization that the devil he made a deal with has truly promised him a wooden nickel.  The uncle who he saw beat Yenny on the video chat was actually Yenny’s HUSBAND.  Yenny and his husband scammed Brad, who has already given Yenny $1,000 plus dollars by this time.

 

This is probably a scam that Yenny and his husband do constantly by baiting men & maybe women into an online fantasy.  Once they have them enveloped in that fantasy, Yenny or the husband goes in for the attack and request money for various made up purposes.  Once they have obtained a certain amount of money, they do their play and pretend that something drastic has occurred and they shut everything down.  They delete their profile page and continue on to another website and another sucker.  However, in this case, the person they played was not accepting that the fantasy was over

 

But there is a silver lining. The money obtained through these online scams go into food and other necessities for their child.  And while Brad used Yenny via a Freudian Grief Displacement tactic to deal with the death of his son, Yenny was using Brad to fund the livelihood of his child.  Brad replacing his deceased child with Yenny could no longer be the fantasy that he wanted.  For Brad, his fantasy was placed in some resemblance of reality.  But now, Brad could no longer be “Black Jamaican Pussy Bwoy Yenny’s” white daddy.  The displacement ended once he realized the responsibility that Brad had as a parent, which preceded this entire situation.  At this point the fantasy is truly over and Brad sees the world for the dark place it is.  Brad has now lost two of his children or has lost his one child twice in his mind (And if you are inquiring, it is my personal value judgement that this is disgusting and creepy).  One child is lost to death and one child is lost to reality.  Or better yet, one child is lost to the reality of death and again to the reality of life.

 

As Brad leaves, he looks back to Yenny and his husband’s house.  It is my opinion that Brad is now enraged at this point, but a part of him understands the struggle of parenthood.  He understands that what has distracted him and caused him to lose his child has been used to feed another person’s child.  This is because of the simple fact that Yenny lives in a different reality than Brad. Yenny has little privilege outside of having a male body.  He utilizes this position to bait men of power to give him what he wants in exchange for his verbal and sexual confirmation of their dominance.  Brad has never had to do that.  In fact, he seeks black men to control and dominate in order to obtain confirmation that he is privileged.

 

The last scene solidifies this confirmation.  Brad holds a yellow envelope with Yenny’s name written on it.  He tosses it to the wind.  Despite the outcome, this would’ve been the end result in my opinion.  Once Brad obtained what he wanted from Yenny, he would’ve tossed Yenny to the wind.  Brad only wanted gratification as white supremacy often does.  Despite the damage and destruction that occurs to obtain it, once the quest for it ends, the other parties are removed and all that remains is the white man looking onto the world he and his ancestors have conquered.

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Please let me know if I missed anything, if you disagree with anything, or if you have another point of view.

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