Directed by Miles Warren, Hulu’s ‘Bruiser’ is a drama movie that follows a 14-year-old boy named Darious, who is an outcast and struggles to fit in with his friends and family. He makes his way into manhood with the aid of two men: Porter, a charismatic drifter, and his stern yet loving father, Malcolm. However, he is dragged into a complicated predicament between the two influential men in his life as soon as he learns Porter’s true identity.
The heartfelt onscreen performances from talented actors, including Trevante Rhodes, Shamier Anderson, Jalyn Hall, and Shinelle Azoroh, elevate the overall dramatic narrative and keep the viewers invested in the movie from beginning to end. So, if you like ‘Bruiser’ for being gripping and heartfelt, you must wonder if the storyline has any grain of truth. If that sounds like a familiar thought, we have all the answers for your curious mind!
Is Bruiser A True Story?
No, ‘Bruiser’ is not based on a true story. Instead, it is based on Miles Warren’s eponymous 2021 short film. The simple yet gripping story plays around with the themes rooted in reality about masculinity, and the characters’ actual lives are heartfelt. One could picture experiencing this story firsthand, hearing about it on the news, or learning about it from a friend. Because of how relevant it is, the viewer can relate to these characters.
In an interview with Sundance Institute, Miles Warren reveals his inspiration behind the film’s creation, adapted from his own short film, ‘Bruiser,’ featured at the Sundance Festival. He said, “I love getting a lot of my ideas for films from the plethora of weird ad bizarre videos that exist online and then also mixing that with a very cinematic eye. I think one of my strengths is that I love framing. I am obsessed with filmmakers like Stanley Kubrick or more contemporary like Ruben Ostlud or Yorgos Lanthimos because of how they can use the frames that they use to evoke this weird, almost unsettling feeling.”
“These film ideas come to me mostly in YouTube rabbit holes. This time it came in the form of these videos of proud dads teaching their daughters firefighters safety and how there were thousands of them. We we so happy and fascinated by it, and we just wanted to make a simple little store about a dad teaching his daughter how to shoot an AR-15, and that’s the only thing that connected them,” Warren added. He further explained the plotline of the movie in the same interview.
The director said, “‘Bruiser’ is a story of a young Black boy named Darious who witnesses his father get into a fistfight brawl in a bowling alley and how seeing his father be so aggressive affects his view of the man but also his own search for masculinity. It comes from the idea of these Worldstar videos that go viral or still go viral a lot of times online usually depict Black men or women, but it is usually black individuals fighting, and that kind of goes viral like a horrific kind of joke- funny but also horrific. So, what this film does is takes that and presents it in this kind of traditional cinematic way, and then it forces its characters to deal with the aftermath of that.”
Warren continued, “Everyone has family that they disagree with or want to connect with; even if there is a fight or falling out, there is always that feeling and kind of like unconditional love or just the acknowledgment that we’re related, and so we’ll probably know each other. It’s a very interesting starting place if you are trying to write stuff that you know. It’s writing about a family relationship or a bond between a father and a child.”
The movie truly goes over the edge and starts to seem too lifelike at one point. It doesn’t feel like a movie since many parts are realistic and parallel to everyday life. The audience is occasionally unsure of who they ought to be supporting. Malcolm is a somewhat violent parent, yet not in a way that makes him the antagonist or villain of the film or Darious’s life. Porter has a troubled history and occasionally comes off as empathetic, though he also lets his emotions get the better of him. Again, while these characteristics make the characters incredibly relatable and human, they are simply an idea from the director’s mind.
Hence, the story doesn’t have an ending or a beginning; it is just a regular depiction of every teen who attempts to find himself and his masculinity by looking up to or questioning influential male figures about their experiences and trying to view the world through their eyes. In conclusion, while ‘Bruises’ is a fictional story, the creative forces behind the spectacle have amalgamated experiences unique to their lives, culminating in this film.
Read More: Where Was Hulu’s Bruiser Filmed?