The world we live in today is chaotic and unpredictable. The future may seem bleak, but there is still hope that something will change. Even as a teenager, a minor convenience seems like the end of the world. Although, teenagers and their parents are still going through life-changing events.
Luca Guadagnino's new HBO show "We Are Who We Are" displays this. Family, war, gender identity, grief and the 2016 election are just a few themes of the show, even though it may not seem like it at the beginning. Although, the growing frustrations between characters eventually do come out from the surface, and those themes are blatant.
We follow Fraser Wilson (Jack Dylan Grazer) as he leaves New York City to a military base in Chioggia, Italy with his two moms who work in the military. Sarah Wilson (Chloe Sevigny) is also a colonel on base where there is tension between her and Richard Poythress (Kid Cudi).
The show does seems slow at first, but that is the point. The audience will see relationships form in a slow pace and eventually blow up into profound discussions. Two of the most profound characters is Fraser and Caitlin Poythress (Jordan Kristine Seamon).
Fraser and Caitlin slowly become friends, and Fraser helps Caitlin guide her through her gender identity. The main point of the show is about how these teenagers are trying to find themselves in this crazy world, and they did a great job at it by expressing that theme through Caitlin.
"I am still me, dad," said Caitlin. It's a short quote but a sincere one.
Although, the teenagers are not the only ones going through some stuff. Their parents are also struggling within themselves and in their relationships.
I'd also like to mention the most underrated character in the show. Danny Poythress (Spencer Moore II) is also struggling with his identity regarding Islam. In a base where the majority of residents are Christian, I can understand the disconnect that Danny has even with his father. I can also empathize with his frustrations and feeling alienated.
The audience will completely understand the show and what it stands for in the seventh episode. The group of teenagers are still trying to find themselves, but they are stricken with grief and drowning it in drugs, alcohol and loud music. It's a sad affair but a realistic one.
The 2016 election is also a subtle theme of the show. Guadagnino compared President Donald J. Trump to former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Guadagnino purposely used Election Day as a parallel to the lives of the teenagers. It was a marker for when grief struck the group. Also, it parallels the grief of America itself and the tumultuous years ahead.
Episode seven really solidifies the genius of Guadagnino and how he can make the audience feel the emotions of the characters. It's heartbreaking but eye-opening.
Dev Hynes, also known as Blood Orange, made a beautiful score that fits perfectly with the show. His music raised and settled emotions. It was as if it was a paint stroke in a beautiful painting. It matches well with the beautiful scenery that Guadagnino displays in his works.
"We Are Who We Are" is like looking at the face of the younger side of Gen Z. I am part of that generation myself, but I feel like the older sister in this generation. It's a great way to see the struggles they go through or even relate with. It's a way to observe and not judge. We see their pain and anger of being in an unpredictable world, but we can also see the beauty of finding and expressing our own identity.