And Then I Go

And Then I Go is a 2017 American drama film directed by Vincent Grashaw and starring Melanie Lynskey and Justin Long.[1][2] It is based on the 2004 novel Project X by Jim Shepard.[3]

2017 American film
And Then I Go
Directed by Vincent Grashaw
Screenplay by Jim Shepard
Brett Haley
Based on Project X
by Jim Shepard
Produced by Rebecca Green
Laura D. Smith
Starring Melanie Lynskey
Justin Long
Arman Darbo
Sawyer Barth
Kannon Hicks
Cinematography Patrick Scola
Edited by Alan Canant
Music by Heather McIntosh
Production
company
Two Flints
Distributed by The Orchard
Release date
Running time
99 minutes
Country United States
Language English

. . . And Then I Go . . .

Edwin and his only friend, Flake, navigate high school while dealing with relentless bullying and self-isolation. While Edwin is more sensitive and quiet, Flake is impulsive and explosive emotionally. There is extreme pressure on both of them, with faculty members and their own parents making assumptions that they are the ones at fault. In truth, the boys are both being bullied and the “fights” are one-sided. Edwin’s parents, his father (played by Justin Long) in particular, generally dismiss every remark he makes as petty teenage angst, and only start showing concern when the vice principal of the school invites them for a meeting. During an afterschool hangout at Flake’s home, he shows Edwin his father’s gun collection, floats the idea to shoot up their school, and Edwin reluctantly agrees out of loyalty to his childhood friend.

While developing the plan, Edwin’s artistic ability is noticed by his art teacher, who later encourages him to join an art project to enter a competition. He is approached by two classmate girls who tell him they heard that he had art skills and they wanted him on their team, which he reacts to with a small smile, though Flake, by his side, mocks the girls. Edwin appears to gain self esteem incrementally in the process. However, this whole time, Flake hasn’t given up on their “project,” and the two are still being targeted for bullying. One afternoon there is a fight between Edwin and Flake at Flake’s house which ends up with Edwin bloodied and crying at home. During the period of non-contact afterward, there is visible improvement in Edwin’s mood and mental wellbeing. One evening, a man and his son are playing in a field while Edwin watches. Edwin politely asks for them to stop because the boy has Gus’s beloved toy ball, but they keep walking, so in a moment of frustration, Edwin curses. The man becomes unreasonably aggressive and shoves Edwin to the ground, and they leave with Gus’s ball. This affects Edwin profoundly, and he leans farther toward a mentality of seeking retribution. Flake and Edwin later make up and continue to develop their scheme. At a convenience store, they run into a younger acquaintance named Herman, who is also a target for bullying in the seventh grade for another seventh grader named Budzinski. When Flake unsuccessfully threatens Budzinski to stop, Budzinski targets Herman even more. Sporting a black eye, Herman sullenly tells Edwin, “Someone’s got to do something,” and voices that he wants to get a gun. This worries Edwin. Flake insists on letting Herman in on the plan.

As the day of the school assembly nears, Edwin’s father’s birthday is approaching as well. In an effort to connect with her son, Edwin’s mother plans a family trip to the lake with a sailboat they used to take for outings. When Edwin hears this will be on the day of the shooting, he is struck with inner turmoil, but Flake threatens him not to back out of the plan. The night before the assembly, Edwin quietly watches over his younger brother, Gus, who he is very fond of, and later on that night goes to the school with Flake to block off the majority of the school doors and store their weapons in their lockers. That morning, he wishes his father good luck on his lecture and receives a reminder from his mother about the lake trip. At school, Flake gives him a quick run-down of their plan again, and urges Edwin to stick to it. Edwin is to go into the bathroom while the students filter into the gym for the assembly, get the duffel with guns, and then head into the gym with Flake. Flake shoots his classmates without hesitation, sending the audience frantically running. Edwin cannot bring himself to raise his gun, however, and Flake is killed by the police while struggling to reload his rifle.

The ending shows a flashback of Edwin and his family at the previously mentioned lake, with voiceover of Edwin relating a story about their having towed another boat to shore. Edwin mentions remembering clearly the joyful expression of the child passenger, while thinking in a paternal manner: “Good for you, kid. Good for you.”

. . . And Then I Go . . .

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. . . And Then I Go . . .