Ronnie (Zachary Ray Sherman) lives with his mother. He’s racist, homophobic, misogynist and subscribes to an alt-right channel where his idol, Chance Dalmain (Travis Hammer) preaches to his viewers about the ‘real America’. Ronnie is also lonely.
He thinks he’s a nice guy and all he wants is to find a woman who understands him so that she can be the one that looks up to him when everybody else is looking down.
Then one day Ronnie meets Candy (Monique Parent) and he instantly takes an interest in her and while he’s doing his usual internet search for ‘viewing material’ he sees Candy on a website offering her services. So, Ronnie finds her address and goes to see if he can offer any services of his own, and sure enough Candy and her husband, Larry (Hugo Armstrong) find a way that Ronnie can get involved in their internet porn business.
Cuck is the feature debut of Rob Lambert who also co-wrote the screenplay alongside Joe Varkle and they tell a very familiar and yet still very relevant story of a man whose exposure to right wing media and the influences around him have turned him into an incel.
Although there may be comparisons to Taxi Driver and more recently Joker, what sets Cuck apart is that it views its protagonist with neither a hint of sympathy and doesn’t ever laugh at his expense. Instead setting the film in the present-day turns Cuck into a character study that feels very real and Sherman’s portrayal feels so authentic that Ronnie could be somebody that you could meet at any time.
Sherman puts in a great performance as Ronnie and there’s never a time where the audience won’t totally believe that Ronnie doesn’t totally believe in what he’s saying. However, Sherman’s portrayal leads to moments of great sympathy for Ronnie as the audience may even find themselves wishing that if Ronnie wasn’t so naïve and easily led, then his life would be so much better.
It is unfortunate that Cuck does go down the route that audiences may expect from a film such as this, however as this story is as relevant now as it ever was, a little reminder that bad influences don’t go away so easily may be just the right thing that’s needed for modern America.
The film’s UK release has been postponed to sometime later this year, however it will be available to view on Amazon Prime from April 20.
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