Monday, June 19, 2023

BS HIGH (2023) Tribeca 2023

If you see this guy in real life-run away

When BS HIGH starts off  you will be laughing. The story of "fake" school Bishop Sycamore, a prep school that kept its students in hotels, and existed to simply get it students into a college program is funny. I mean they some how got into a televised game on ESPN where they were destroyed by the best high school in the country.  Its even more of a joke because the guy behind it is Roy Johnson a good natured sociopath with a wide smile and a willingness to make it all a joke...and that's fine until it's not and by the end you will be horrified.

The story is that desperate kids and their families gave money to Johnson because he said he would get the kids into a program that would get them noticed by the big colleges. The trouble is he was no coach, the school never really existed (there were no classes) and he was scamming everyone and everything for money. The kids were never going to go anywhere and it was all an effort to make Johnson feel super and line his pockets with cash.

By the end of BS HIGH there are no jokes. There is only the monster Roy Johnson, the con artist and scammer who played the system and wrecked dozens of lives. Roy knows the rules and he knows how to bend them. He knows how not to pay bills, how to let others take the fall and how to glad hand you as he is taking everything from you. Forget Hannibal Lecter, Johnson is a bigger and badder monster because he's smiling and laughing as he guts your guts out. 

Sitting in the screening watching the tale play out I was constantly struck by the notion that this has to be a joke. Johnson can't really be sitting there answering questions and getting himself into more and more trouble, but there he is blathering along, joking,knowing that he is largely untouchable. It's all a game to him until the he is confronted and the mask slips briefly before he starts in the the games again.

That Johnson hasn't been killed by anyone he's come in contact with is truly amazing. Then  again he's capable of being a scary guy with domestic abuse charges on his rap sheet.

I don't know what to say except see this film. Even if you think you know the story, you don't. You haven't because you haven't seen Roy Johnson in action.

One of the great finds of Tribeca

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