Wow! A real punch in the gut. I didn't know much about this play and its film version other than the comments on ATC (which were intriguing). I went in pretty cold. Defintely engrossing, even riveting. The first hour or so didn't seem to take the story anywhere. I couldn't figure out exactly what the film was about other than a character study of 3 old friends.
When Chad joins the group as a drug source for Frank and tells his horrific story about the young girl, I suspected there was a connection to Crystal. The rest of the story was shattering, hard to watch. I had to shield my eyes at times.
The ending was OK, I guess. I just thought Chad's punishment was a little too light given the enormity of his actions. Any thoughts? Maybe a partial castration or some other physical disfigurement. The loss of a finger or eye? Or would that be too extreme?
In the 1986 flashback why does Shea Whigham still play Packy, when Frank and Terry are played by child actors? That scene came off as feeling odd to me.