Estranged is a 2018 Libertan drama film written and directed by Antonio Caltrava, produced by Astral Pictures. The film is based around the Christopher Clark, the protagonist, and the fictional Auxman High School, in Cinco Ranch, a suburb of Houston, Texas, and chronicles the events around a school shooting. The film stars several smaller actors, as preserving an authentic feel was a major focus throughout the filming process.
Based on several school shootings in the Template:United States, the first version of the script was finished in 2015 by Caltrava, after 3 years of continuous research. According to him, the "main goal of the movie was and is to show the true and raw sadness and sorrow around a school massacre" he continues, "...I often feel like school shootings are a subject of 'we shouldn't talk about that' or 'its an inevitability', and I want to avoid that, to show to all how truly sickening it is that people haven't taken further action against this". The filming was generally opposed by the Cinco Ranch community, and fully filming at the original proposed location, Cinco Ranch High School wasn't possible, as the school declined the proposed contract with Astral Pictures, instead only the interior of the school was shot, and shots of the school from outside was instead moved to another school.
Upon its release on April 27th, a week after the Columbine High School Massacre, the film achieved significant critical and commercial success. Although not nominated for any awards, it earned $95 million, in stark contrast to its budget at $5 million. Due to its portrayal of graphic violence in children, it received an NC-17 rating by the MPAA. This upset Caltrava, who claimed that youth above the age of 15 should be able to see the movie. In total it earned over $289 million in box office, and was considered a major success by Astral Pictures.
The film begins for months before the massacre, and introduces the audience to Christopher Clark, a 15 year old boy who lives in an upper middle class suburb, with everything going for him, except for his social life. Christopher has two friends, Robin and Juliet. Whilst relatively happy with this friendship, and underlying pain lives on in Christopher, as he has an unrequited love for Juliet, which he hides. As time goes on, Christopher slowly starts socially isolating himself, as he believes Robin conspires against him to get together with Juliet. Due to his isolation, Robin and Juliet spend more time together, further increasing his isolation and jealousy. After some time passes, this jealousy eventually transforms into obsessiveness and act in personally self-destructive mannerisms.
As Christopher starts to incorporate a negative mindset, he performs worse and worse in school, which worries his anxious father. His father, who is also the local sheriff, deals with personal daemons of his own, relating to his childhood, and the fact that he observes himself as a failure, as he was unable to pursue his interest in Chemistry on a university level, and instead choosing to become a policeman. Due to this underlying hatred for himself, and his fear of his son becoming a failure, just like himself, he responds to Christopher's failing grades with verbal abuse.
This in turn makes Christopher angry and his feelings of isolation further increase. As this happens, he starts to think in a suicidal manner.
One day when Christopher watches the news he sees a school shooting that has occurred in northern Pennsylvania, this is the point where Christopher starts pondering about school shootings, and he in turn start to fantasize about himself doing it.