This is probably going to be one of the shorter reviews I have ever written…mainly because I think if I spend any more time time thinking about Cruel Summer I may get sick.
Cruel Summer tells the charming (and supposedly true) tale of a young autistic man named Danny (Richard Pawulski) from the inner-city that gets a chance to go to the country thanks to a Governmental program. While there he encounters a real psycho of a human being who plans Danny’s demise after his equally atrocious girlfriend concocts a lie about the youth. You can guess the rest.
Let’s see if I can put a positive on some of this…I guess if you want to see a film that fully displays the cruelty and unfairness that life can throw at someone then Cruel Summer is the picture for you. There is no epic revenge, no hope, barely any retribution…it’s just one unfortunate soul encountering a force that is out for his blood over a petty reason and nothing will stand in his way…and any five second scan of the news will show you hundreds of stories exactly like this one taking place daily. To sum up; life is depressing enough without having to sit through an hour and twenty minutes of simulated sadism.
I’m not going to argue the technical merit or effectiveness of Cruel Summer; it is well made and acted, and the story definitely elicited an emotional response, but it’s a response I never want to experience again.