Share takes a different path when it comes to fleshing out its narrative and reminds you that you cannot own or narrate the story of someone else’s trauma.
|Screenplay By||Pippa Bianco|
|Genre(s)||Drama, Young Adult|
|Good If You Like||Quiet Dramas Which Don’t Have Grandstanding Moments|
|Isn’t For You If You||Must Have Closure When Films End|
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High school basketball player Mandy was having the time of her life. While not the star player, she was a good one, was friends with everyone on her team and had a good relationship with the boys’ basketball team. Maybe even a crush on a boy or two.
However, one night, too many drinks, a slew of pictures, and a handful of videos change everything. From that point on, what was once routine, the road she was on, between school officials, Mandy’s mom Kerri, and her dad Mickey, they took the wheel. They veered her onto a dirt road and took her out of the driver’s seat. Leaving her a passenger in her own life not just due to a night which stole her autonomy, but how they decided to take over how she could react and how she could live her life.
How It Refocuses Everything On Mandy
While we do see Mandy isolate herself, cry, question things, and get frustrated, one could say her mom gets far more upset than she ever does. That her dad lashes out more, especially when dealing with AJ’s dad Tony, and the comments he makes. All the while, the way the film is cut makes it so you are re-centered on Mandy. You keep being reminded that, no matter if her mom is triggered by something which happened to her, or maybe her dad shocked by what kind of place he is raising his kid, this is Mandy’s story. What matters is how she feels, how she reacts, her being able to process and regain her autonomy that matters.
A Reminder That Many Isn’t One Of Many, But Just One
Which makes her reaction to it all so powerful. Overnight, her future was drastically changed. This 16-year-old girl, likely going for a basketball scholarship, dreaming of college, among other things, now was coerced to deal with the assumption something happened. We see a guy pull her pants down, assume the worse, but the video doesn’t go that far, no one says anything, and while there are a lot of guilty faces, answers are either vague, just sighs, or silence.
Which makes Mandy’s journey back strange yet powerful. For she doesn’t do what you might expect, and neither does the film. There isn’t yelling, screaming, even in terms of placing blame or asking what happened. Nearly every time she seeks the truth, she is calm. Those moments we’re alone with Barreto make it clear she, emotionally, is anything but calm, but in the search for truth, taking back her life, continuing her story, there is this weird vibe. I think the only thing you can call it is acceptance, if not this desire to know what happened so that she can know what, if anything, to feel.
And not being able to fully grasp what Mandy is feeling is what makes the movie. You can try to pin stuff on her based on how you would react, or how others have done in media, but Share finds a way to make this just Mandy’s story. Her way of dealing with it, and making sure there is no right or wrong in what works for her. Thus giving that rare permission to survivors to handle things how they choose and not follow what will make others feel better more so than them.
On The Fence
You Aren’t Left With A Sense Of Satisfaction
With that said, don’t expect the kind of ending which is made for you to feel better about yourself and the fact you made it to the end of the film. Like for Mickey and Kerri, you don’t get that vicarious sense of cathartic release. It’s not about you. You are simply a witness.
What you have to love about is that it challenges its audience. It reminds you stories like this aren’t always about you feeling better, escaping reality, or what anyone wants really. It’s about what the survivor needs so they can processed what happened, and get back to their life. How you choose to handle it is your business. You cannot tell them how to manage and/or heal. Hence the positive label for that’s refreshing. For there is so much pressure to get justice, to keep other people from being hurt, to be strong, this sense of community, sometimes it seems the individual is lost in all that. That despite the idea being you not becoming a statistic, it ends up happening anyway. So Mandy taking control of her story, despite the passionate solutions that are presented, can’t help but shake you up a bit and remind you, at the end of the day, it’s not about you.
Ending Explained & Commentary (with Spoilers)
The way Share ends implies Mandy, rather than go to a different school like her mom wants, fight as hard as he dad wants, she just wants to get back to what was normal for her. That means not doing homeschooling, hanging out with her team, going to prom, and not letting anyone deride the life she had planned for herself. For while she still isn’t fully sure what happened, beyond Dylan having sex with her and leaving her on her lawn, that’s enough. She can’t remember what happened after she passed out, the video gives but a glimpse no one wants to elaborate on, so rather than obsess over a question everyone refuses to answer, she’ll just move on.
Question(s) Left Unanswered
- Is it just me or does Mandy’s little brother just disappear halfway through the movie?