Brad’s Status (2017)
Reviewed by: Neha Mahmood, Gulnar Qaiser, and Cris Orani
I really enjoyed watching the movie, Brad’s Status at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. The story of a man, experiencing an existential crisis, shows how we as a species have a tendency to look past what we have and wish for the unnecessary which we don’t possess; money, fame and luxuries, to name a few. So caught up with comparing himself to what seems like the “success” of his college peers, who he initially calls friends, Brad neglects to realize the potential of his son, Troy, who in his senior year of high school, is looking into attending prestigious schools, and has the potential to be accepted into Ivy League colleges such as Harvard University. As Brad’s focus attention drifts away from his insecurities and deepens into his son’s enrollment, he faces an epiphany of valuing the best in people, his wife, his son, himself. The moral of the story: ‘we are alive, and that’s what mattered’.
In terms of commercialized tobacco scenes, I was fortunate to not have spotted a single incident of someone smoking. There were, however, occasional scenes of pubs with alcohol and profane language thrown around while Brad confronted with people while being either not in the right mindset, such as with his son, or infuriated and on the journey to self-‐discovery and self-‐admiration, such as when really looking into his “friend’s” lives and re-‐evaluating the definition of happiness. The movie was a real treat and as I have been doing, I will continue to recommend the movie to my peers. It was a special reminder about the luxury that is life itself.
Brad’s Status is about a man approaching his fifties, named Brad, who is beginning to feel jealous of all his college friends who have become successful billionaires and entrepreneurs. The film follows him as he visits universities with his son who is an A+ high school student looking to go to college in September. The movie does not visually show any tobacco products being used, but at one point a character (one of Brad’s successful friends from college) makes a reference to smoking. Also, there was one scene in which Brad is fantasizing about the children of these successful billionaires, and he imagines them snorting cocaine on a private jet with their family. This scene is meant to be humorous, as the child seems to be around seven years old and it is likely not true he is engaging in drug use. I think this movie, rated 14A, has the right rating, because there are scenes where sex is brought up and almost every character swears at one point. If there were to be onscreen tobacco use, I would definitely think this movie would deserve a rating of at least 18A. This movie is Smoke-Free!
Was there smoking in the movie? No, the movie had no smoking scenes in it.
Did the characters appear less believable/realistic because they did not use tobacco? The characters appeared to be as believable to any other characters in other movies. Smoking would not have changed anything to any character in the movie.
What are the benefits of not having tobacco present on the screen? The benefits of not having tobacco on screen would mean that people watching the movie wouldn’t be thinking of a cigarette. If a person would be thinking of cigarettes it may cause them to purchase a pack themselves.
Why do you think the movie-makers chose to keep tobacco out of this movie? I believe the movie makers decided to not include cigarettes in the movie is because it doesn’t add or take away anything from the experience and therefore not needed.