Charlie is a young football star with a strong chance of moving into premiere league. His father, Paul, whom he has always been very close to, is over the moon, especially he never could achieve this position in his younger days because of his injuries. But Charlie has a secret. He feels he is trapped in a wrong body and constantly is attracted to his sister’s clothes, make-up and shoes. His secret is revealed when his father watches him. This is where the struggle begins. Charlie cannot hide anymore and wants to be who he/she really is. Charlie’s parents cannot ignore it anymore and need to take seriously. The mother and sister Eva are fully supportive of her (Char) but Paul’s dreams are devastated. With the help of football coach. Charlie gets an opportunity to play football in the girls team , thereby continuing her love for football. Stress starts developing between her parents because Paul still doesn’t understand it all. But eventually Paul comes around because being with family and doing what is right is the most important thing. The film has a beautiful ending when Eva is getting married and Charlie in her new self and confidence is happy and proud and so is the family and friends.
Charlie’s story is not an easy one to tell, but the director seems to have known how complex of a challenge this would be. We watch Charlie as she learns and grows without ever being dramatized. There is a scene where Paul says “Is this a gay thing. We can deal with it”. It clearly shows that the film is in modern times and the society is accepting and tolerant. Paul just feels lied to because of the fact that his little boy now identifies as a girl and that kills his dreams. The makers are more interested in stirring emotion than delving into the science of gender reassignment and this is what I lovd about the film. A beautiful bond is with Charlie and his best friend, who also is confused on Charlie’s transition ; has a huge fight with Charlie, even leading to a fallout between the parents but the kids talk and makeup and they understand each other. The way the mother and Charlie’s sister Eva stand and support her in every step of the way is commendable. Charlie loves football but at such a young age, is caught between two worlds: one where she can live up to her father’s expectations and one where she can express her inner self. The stakes are small, but deeply personal. The moments, watching a mother and father negotiate what is best for their daughter are focused solely on the actors. And talking of actors, every single person in the film is a perfect fit and incredible actors. But definitely its the captain of the ship who deserves all accolades. It’s a work of delicate human drama, populated by wonderful performances and a bloody darn good movie. Pointing out any single actor would not be fair to the others, but you have to hand it to actor playing Charlie with kindness, dignity and a sweetness of spirit. Whats wonderful was also that Paul, who although cannot accept Charlie, but is never shown a monster. As a viewer , you can relate equally well with Charlie and her father at the same time and thats a win.
In the journey of Charlie trying to be who he really is and accepting herself, we see what happens not just to her but everyone around her including parents, sister, best friend, coach etc. The ending is not perfect but these stories need to be told. Moreover, its upto audiences like us who need to be ready to hear these stories. (8.5/10)