RAIN BEAU’S END
Drama, 1 hr 57 min
Synopsis: When a prominent lesbian couple adopts a child diagnosed with a genetic predisposition for violence, they must contend with their hard-lined stance on acceptance while attempting to raise the perfect family in the spotlight.
It asks all the right questions and provides answers that are grounded in reality and truth…
I must admit, this film took me by surprise. Even with the hard-hitting topics that Rain Beau’s End touches upon, the film didn’t hit me over the head as I may have suspected it to but it hit me right in the heart; and that is how you can tell that a story has been impactful. Whilst this is a tale about a lesbian couple who adopt a child with genetics that predispose him to violence, the film does not veer into the melodramatic which it could easily have done. Instead, it shows measured restraint, draws much-deserved empathy for its characters, and takes everyone from within the story as well as the audience themselves on an emotional yet relatable and fulfilling journey.
Set in a small American town in the 1990s, Rain Beau’s End follows a lesbian couple’s progression throughout motherhood and the strains it puts on their relationship, their careers, and their beliefs. The audience is introduced to Hannah Driver (Janelle Snow) as a mayoral candidate with a picture-perfect public image to maintain, and Jules Paradise (Amanda Powell) who runs a coffee shop and yearns to nurture her maternal instinct and generous free spirit. The couple adopt a young boy named Beau, who is diagnosed with 47, XYY syndrome shortly after they bring him home. 47, XYY affects about 1 in 1,000 males. Many have no symptoms at all while others can demonstrate significant developmental and behavioural issues. ‘So how do we fix this? “Fix” may not be the right word, you cannot erase the Y chromosome’ – says Dr Christine Phelps (Andrea Salloum). Rain Beau’s End spans 20 years of incidents, doctor visits, tension between the 2 mothers, self-discovery, and heartache.
In symbolic keeping with “The diagnosis is all you see,” Beau is never actually seen onscreen but the repercussions of his diagnosis and his behaviour and the challenges it poses can be seen in all the lives surrounding him. No matter what “alphabet soup” any doctor dredges up, this film reminds us that labelling someone can significantly harm their development and lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy of them living up to your worst nightmare. Most relationships in life are symbiotic and what this film does well is to show how our lives, our choices, and our inhibitions are all affected by those around us. Neglect from our parents can trickle down as a reluctance to show love to our children or perhaps even an overcompensation of spoiling a child. Are we destined to repeat our parents’ mistakes? How much can a parent sacrifice of themselves before losing themselves completely? How much stress can a loving relationship take before eventually cracking at the seams? Here is a film that packs all the punches but does so in an intelligent, well thought out, and intricate way that refrains from hitting you all at once and yet leaves no stone unturned by the end of it all. It asks all the right questions and provides answers that are grounded in reality and truth.
Rain Beau’s End is a prime example of how even with a small but talented cast and crew, an incredible film can be made. Any film that can encapsulate the toils of life, love, sacrifice and loss within the delicate balance of storytelling in an engaging way but avoiding unnecessary drama is a rare find. There were strong performances by the whole cast from the very convincing leading couple, to the down-to-earth queer and non-queer best friends, to the school principal (Christian Stolte), to the rival Mayor Haggerty (Steve Bayorgeon), and then Hannah’s father (Edward Asner), who was a grimacing powerhouse unto his own. There were no cracks in the armour of these characters and in fact the character growth of every single one of them was astounding. I would also like to commend the hair/makeup artists (Betsy Finn & Angela Friis) who do an amazing job of showing the 2 women ageing over the 20 years.
This film was a delight to watch due to its respectful and original storytelling; always delivering relatable conversation, very real struggles, and an undeniable love between the 2 lead women that you can’t help but root for. We are all a product of our former selves, our experiences fuel our expectations, and we may well mirror aspects of our parents that we dare not admit. Parenthood can be tough, relationships can be tricky, and life can be a struggle, but we are all constantly learning about ourselves, about each other, and about the world at large. Society would do well to have more films like this available with more eyes watching such content. Here’s a story that, although centred around a lesbian couple, is not about sexuality; a story that increases visibility of an “invisible” genetic predisposition and the harm of labelling a child at a young age, but doesn’t make it just about one child.
I am impressed by the many important issues Rain Beau’s End raises yet manages to do so in a captivating and non-judgemental way. Whether you are a parent or not, queer or not, in a relationship or not, I implore you to watch this film as this is about life, love, and family. Like the Labradorite rock that our leading couple possess, I believe the Rain Beau’s End creative team has brought out the best in this colourful and multi-faceted story, and in the right light and frame of mind, you will see how wonderful it truly is. You may not be ready for some of the themes in this film, but ‘ready is for people who wait too long’. Don’t let this film pass you by. Catch it when you can, exclusively on Lesflicks Video-On-Demand.
Watch the trailer
This article was written by:
Reviewer & Writer
Ping believes in the power of love and kindness, and that "love is love" no matter what shape or form it comes in. She would like to see positive representation for all walks of life in film and media.