Danny Webster’s review published on Letterboxd:
I once had anger issues. But that was many years ago - say between when I was 6-10 years old. I was a menace. Just bullied a bunch of other kids because I was taller than them all, and heck, I even ended up with a girlfriend - an unreasonably mature girl who I think wanted to "change me". She was the most popular girl in school at the time, I don't think I was particularly liked, but I was somewhat "popular".
You know those jocks in American schools. I was like one of those. Really good at sports, bigger than everyone, got the popular girl and to top it all off, I was the smartest guy in the class. Stop bragging Danny, they're starting to hate the 10-year old version of you! I was particularly aggressive. Started fights over stupid comments like "your mum" and the like, and likewise caused them for the sake of it. I intimidated the new students; you know, just to tell them who was boss --> me.
I think a big reason for all that was because my biological father wasn't around. Maybe. I was an angry child. And that's until I was taken out of that school by my mum - we moved house, and then I changed schools. Ultimately, I was a timid boy. From awesome Danny to quiet Danny. Girls still fancied me of course. Why wouldn't they? I'm awesome. (I'm not actually like that) But eventually as it all progressed I simply became more interested in flirting with the girls rather than being bothered with being the toughest, coolest individual. It never got anywhere. I don't think I had any real intentions. I just had never talked to many real girls before, and they all seemed nice.
Then primary school ended, and I moved to the big boys school. I was even more quiet over there. Never talked to any girls, barely talked at all. But at least I didn't have anyone try and strangle me whilst I was in the shower, obviously naked.
Big boys school is an aggressive place - not physically persay, but like the prison here - it's all a rather juvenile facility in which boys cuss each other and the teachers (prison guards) just want to strangle all the pupils. Prisons are schools for criminals. Some want to learn, some don't. Some want to be the strongest but all of them want a girl. The girl. And not their mothers, who they're all particularly defensive over.
Starred Up almost depicts the hopelessness of the educational system as much as it does the hopelessness of the prison system. Very cool, very swag, I like it.