In one of his worst personal moments, in 2012, two teenagers meet through their relatives on vacation in Florida. Michelle Carter and Conrad Roy shared outings on those days when time didn’t run out, either riding a bike or going for ice cream. Then each returned to his native place. Conrad, to Mattapoisett, Mass.; and Michelle, to Plainville, Connecticut. The geographical distance was not vast, and yet the two decided to continue their relationship through text messages and a handful of face-to-face encounters. The virtuality offered them the comfort to be able to expand on everything that tormented them. Both Michelle and Conrad were dealing with mental health illnesses and the young man had attempted suicide on more than one occasion.
His first meeting with Michelle made him feel a little less alone, but the symbiosis they developed ended up backfiring, especially for Conrad, who was battling anxiety and depression. In addition, the young man had suffered verbal abuse from his grandfather for years and physical aggression from his father. The divorce of his parents also contributed to a state of desolation on which he expanded with Michelle with her cell phone as a tool to shorten the wall that they had self-imposed.
The young woman not only understood exactly what her boyfriend was going through but also advised him on what medications to take and how to alleviate his depressive condition. That unhealthy codependency and Conrad’s insistence on talking about methods of suicide took her partner to a place of darkness that she couldn’t get out of.
On Sunday, July 13, 2014, Conrad’s body was found in his truck in a parking lot in the city of Fairhaven and it was quickly determined that he had committed suicide by carbon monoxide asphyxiation. However, one of the officers in charge noticed that the teenager had his cell phone in his pocket and pulled it out, motivated by a hunch that it would change the course of the investigation.
The brand new miniseries of star play, The Girl from Plainville, created by Patrick Macmanus and Liz Hannah (writer of the filmThe Post: The dark secrets of the Pentagon, and the series minehunter y The Dropout), is available as of today on the streaming platform, fictionalizes what is shown in the documentary by Erin Lee Carr, I Love You, Now Die ( HBO Max ).
Bio series true crime focuses on the toxic bond between these young people (played by Elle Fanning and Colton Ryan ), and how the investigation into Conrad’s death began, which gradually turned towards involuntary manslaughter. Its perpetrator? Michelle Carter. Numerous text messages were found on her boyfriend’s cell phone inciting him to commit suicide.
On the day that Conrad decides to attack himself, his partner had written to him: “You keep insisting and saying you will do it but you never do it. It will always be like that if you don’t take action.” The young woman was angry at Conrad’s reluctance to fulfill his promise to take his own life, and she was the one who suggested how to do it. “Carbon monoxide is the best option,” she wrote Michelle. “You better not be lying to me and saying you’re going to do this and then get caught on purpose,” she added in another text.
Although the young woman was an hour away from the deceased, detectives built a case against her that became stronger when they found another revealing text message that Carter had sent to a friend, confirming that the young woman had called by phone to Conrad minutes before his death: “I could have stopped him. We were on the phone and he got out of the truck because it was running and he freaked out and I told him to get back in. I could have stopped him but I didn’t. All I had to say was ‘I love you.’”
In February 2015, Michelle was charged with involuntary manslaughter, and the trial began two years later when Carter was found guilty and sentenced to two and a half years in prison, although the judge ruled that she should spend 15 months behind bars legally. mandatory. On January 23, 2020, she was released.
The case aroused unavoidable media attention in the United States and sparked a moral debate that the StarzPlay miniseries will surely revive. To what extent was Carter guilty if he was not on the scene? Can she be convicted for a text message when it was Conrad who took his own life? How impressionable was that 18-year-old young man at the time of receiving those messages and the call from his girlfriend?
Questions inevitably arise, as well as conversations about mental health and the role played (by presence or omission) by relatives of those who suffer from illnesses and/or disorders, another edge that fiction addresses through the character of Lynn Roy, a mother by Conrad, performed by Chloë Sevigny.
Glee, The Fault in Our Stars, and Romeo and Juliet
The Hannah and Macmanus miniseries takes a disturbing approach to Carter’s obsession with glee, the Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk series that I was such a fan of that I memorized all the exchanges between Rachel Berry (Lea Michele) y Finn Hudson (Cory Monteith) and then tell Conrad. After the death of her boyfriend, Carter recreated the sequence of the sad chapter in which Finn dies (a mirror of what had happened with Monteith) and repeated Rachel’s phrases to generate empathy in a secondary sequel in which she became a victim. and reaping long-awaited popularity.
On the other hand, John Green’s book, Under the Same Star, was also an object of fascination for that teenager who preferred to live in any world except the one she was in. Anything that served to elude her reality was voraciously consumed. When she met Conrad, she began to believe that their bond was identical to that of Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters, the characters in Green’s novel. Conrad, for her part, wrote her a text message in which he said that they would be “like Romeo and Juliet” as if she too wanted to conceive a universe that was not the real one. It is no coincidence that both developed their relationship from virtuality when they were only an hour apart.
“I remember at the time I gave the case a lot of attention because it was people my age,” Fanning told Elle magazine. “It is a modern story that can only happen today because everything happens through cell phones. I was able to identify with that feeling of false reality that we sometimes create for ourselves and the instant satisfaction that this provides us. In high school, waiting for a response to a message was important, the world passed through that phone, so I understand how the line between reality and fantasy can be blurred, and that is what we show in the series, “added the actress, who provides another brilliant television performance alongside that of The Great.
With eight episodes directed by Lisa Cholodenko, Liz Hannah, and Zetna Fuentes, among other filmmakers, The Girl from Plainville dives into the couple’s universe with dream sequences that cohesively reflect what Carter and Roy’s courtship was like. One that was not conceived based on genuine memories but on situations that were imagined to never materialize. Except for Conrad’s death, quite a blow to reality.