Stuart: A Life Backwards (2007)

By The Gorgeous Palah Chingu


Where do I start is the question that come across my mind first after watching this film. There’s a mixed reaction on this film that i felt and I somehow couldn’t get it off my head. I was angry, betrayed, sad and depressed all at once. I felt it all right in my chest.

Tom Hardy as Stuart Shorter

Stuart is a homeless person. He met Alexander in one of the meeting for the homeless person. Let’s just say that meeting created the friendship between them. I was not convinced how Tom Hardy can pull off the homeless look. I mean, He’s a stud. He’s charming in his own way. That’s where he proved me wrong. He portrayed the character so effortlessly. You can feel the emotion, you feel empathy and somehow, you could blame the world for turning him into who he is in this movie. I wasn’t planning to watch this film any time soon. Believe me, last thing I want was tears on my face and post-effect after watching this kind of film.

Stuart has been abused by his own brother for 3 years. His brother sometimes brought friend to join him in the act. At the age of 9, Stuart lost his innocence. I can’t stand the abuse especially when it involves kids. I don’t like kids personally, but nobody deserved to be treated like Stuart had for 3 years. It was inhumane, cruel and evil. The most shocking truth is that his own brother, to whom Stuart put his trust, was the one who violated him. There are a series of awfully unspeakable thing that happened to him. He finally lost it and went on rampage, demanding that his mother put him in the children’s care.

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Alexander and stuart

I always wonder when this thing occurred to kids, what did they do to deserve this? Sure, they can be annoying as hell and sometimes could be irritating, but a few punishments are more than adequate. Being sexually abused for years really flipped people in a way that ordinary people can’t fathom. After being put into the children’s care, he was not exactly saved either. He was abused (once again) by the pedophile in the care. I cried. I really cried my heart out when Stuart confessed in the tape that he was abused when he was 9 years old and stated that he never understand how could people inflicted harm on him.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Alexander Masters

Alexander, on the other hand, has no interest in working for homeless shelter. He told Stuart he only did it because the pay was good. However, the more he spends time with Stuart, the more he wanted to know about him. He told Stuart he wanted to write about Stuart and it was Stuart’s idea to write a biography about him but in backwards style. It was to appeal the readers. Benedict Cumberbatch was never a disappointing actor. He played as Alexander Masters, the one who wrote the biography of Stuart shorter. He discovered what really happened to Stuart after listening to the recording tapes that given by Stuart and a series of interview by his own family’s members. In the beginning of the film, you can see how Alexander felt disgusted and even felt uncomfortable to be around Stuart. What can you expect? I bet we all would feel the same way. He changed afterwards. He’s accompanied Stuart everywhere and so used to his present around him.

However, right after the draft of book finished, Stuart committed suicide in front of the train. Alexander told that he was not sure why Stuart did it. I don’t blame him for taking away his life. Sure, there a lot of people can say that they can help, gives support and everything but in the end, the one who felt it is the victim. How can you take the misery, pain, hatred that they felt right after they experienced the abuse? Nobody can. The only comfort I had after watching this film was the perpetrator; the Stuart brother’s committed suicide. I don’t know why he did it, but I’m glad he did.

The book written by Alexander Masters:

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