Ned, teenage gay outcast, joins a boarding school since his parents work in Dubai. Taunted and laughed at because of his ginger look and non-interest in rugby, he has learned to live that way. He is soon joined as his room mate by Conor, who also joins this school because of suspension from his previous school for picking up fights with students. A quiet and shy guy by nature, it turns out that he is a rugby star and now the only hope for the school to being them back the winning glory of the tournament. Ned and Conor form an unlikely friendship, ably supported by their English teacher who continuously encourages students to be themselves (who later we find out that he is gay himself but surprisingly in closet, maybe because of his job). The school bully soon finds out that the actual reason for Conor to leave his earlier school was because he was picking fights for anyone who would confront him to be gay, blackmails Conor to cut off all ties with Ned and help them bring the coveted cup. Ned is surprised by how suddenly Conor has disappeared from his life because of nothing. Initially hurt and tired of being called a faggot, he announces to the school that Conor is also gay. This is what Conor has always feared and his nerves get the better of him and he disappears from the school on the day of the final match. Ned realizes his mistake, somehow convinces Conor to take back the charge and bring back the glory by being himself and not pretending to be someone he is not. He comes back to the team and is ready to join the team only if they all accept him for who he is. Miraculously all of them agree despite a reluctant coach. The match is won and the two friends are back together.
The best thing that I liked about the film and two main protagonists is that no romance angle was forced into the narrative. They were friends who truly cared for each other and being the oddballs (gay/quite/sarcastic) was their common binding factor. And I really appreciate the efforts of film makers for keeping this simple. As I mentioned above, yes, we do see certain bullies in high school, who would indeed act the way some of the students did, but the headmaster and sports teacher probably should not. Guy who played the English teacher is a wonderful actor and beautifully plays his role of a brilliant teacher who is trying to push students beyond their limits, while struggling with himself to be true to his own beliefs. Ned’s character was nice and witty like someone who has become used to being bullied and now uses humor as self-prevention mechanism. Conor on the other hand is troubled (I feel their needed to be a back story with his father, that could tell us more about what’s truly bothering him. On one side he is this quiet, shy musically inclined guy but then he is this aggressive rugby player. Both the guys acted their parts brilliantly, but somehow the empathy was missing. I could relate with them but I couldn’t feel them and this is one of my major concerns with the film.
This film is about being gay, and about anyone that doesn't fit into the social norm. People need to stop thinking that anyone who is different is a lesser individual. (7/10)