Though depressing and frustratingly bleak, Jay Gammill’s “August” is an accurate portrayal of teen insecurity and a look at how some of us may never be happy with what we are and how we look. August is a boy plagued with low self-esteem and depression based around constant teasing by vicious bullies who torment him about a small imperfection in his jaw line. Though to many they’ll sit wondering why he’s putting so much emphasis on this small unnoticeable feature, Gammill points out how this small perfection means the world to him and decides how he lives his life.
The biggest problems mount from the smallest imperfections in our lives, and August is sadly a character who may never come back from his state of insecurity and lack of self-confidence. When he seeks the easy way out of plastic surgery, the results are even less satisfying and the hand Gammill deals to August will leave a sour taste in your mouth. There are great performances all around from Dustin Belt as the title character, and Najarra Townsend whose own life comes into play with August. S
he’s his dream girl, and his own poor self-esteem becomes his own undoing when attempting to approach her and his inevitable conclusion that she’s unattainable becomes a sad self-fulfilling prophecy. The morbid CGI manipulation perfectly mirrors many people’s battle with Body Dysmorphic Disorder, and Gammill gives us a look into the mind of a person battling this complex and potentially damaging mental disorder. Though I sound like a PSA in some respects, “August” thankfully dodges the chance to be one, and instead just focuses on the hardships of being a teenager.
People will always find something to hate about you, you will always find something to hate about yourself, and no surgery in the world can really change that. “August” brings in the message loud and clear. I thought I disliked this because it was so grim and bleak, but then I realized that I admired it because of the fact that the grim and bleak atmosphere was only present because Gammill perfectly captures the horror of Body Dysmorphic Disorder, and how it can be our downfall, in the end. It’s frightfully accurate.