The Diary is a 2017 El Kadsreian coming-of-age physiological drama film directed, produced, and co-written by Brandon Kane. Set in the city of Capulco, El Kadsre, it follows the perspectives of Lieutenant Michael M. Homan (Alexander Landor), a 32 year-old lieutenant of the El Kadsre Police Department, Mitchell Ligertwood (Brian Hestal), a 17 year-old teenager with a clique of jock friends, Darren Kennedy (Stanley Conrad), a 18 year-old senior, Riley Hackett (Daniel Copeley), Oscar Graves (Blake Onians), Sofia Landale (Lauren Szabados), and Ethan Soward (Archie McCutcheon), all of whom were somehow connected to the double suicide of Brianna Connolly (Amberley Claire) and Abigail Montford (Kelly Sanford), a pair of 17 year-old cheerleaders at the local high school. The movie uses the perspective to piece together the often complex web of connections, intersecting storylines and messages, often pieced together by the narrator.
Kane originally planned the plot of the film as a thriller with disillusioned youth, with a dark urban environment and unscrupulous characters; But he was convinced by Estden and Decker to change the subject matter to a de facto taboo subject during adolescence; suicide, especially by teenagers; where in El Kadsre they often hide their depression problems very well, often until it is too late. Kane believed that peer pressure puts too much strain on the person being pressured. Kane also believed that suicide is never a good choice, and not the only way out like most victims belief, and he put that statement into mind when he wrote the script with Estden, Decker and Dominic Mathias in early 2013. Principal photography took place in Capulco between November 2014 and March 2015, and post-production was completed on June 21st, 2016. Production was praised by critics for being deeply realistic, using methods not seen in most movies, such as little to no CGI, and improvised actions conducted by the cast and extras that fit the setting.
The film was shown to critics at the Technic Film Festival, where it was universally praised for its gritty realistic portrayal of suicide, with Jack Minchin of the El Kadsreian Chronicle saying "This film shows us the dark side of adolescence, that no-one is vulnerable to peer pressure from their peers. The scary thing is, this problem is actually real in some aspects." It was released on 30th March 2017, earning $657 million on the first day of release, eventually earning the 3 studios $1.67 billion by the time its theatrical run ended in June 2017.
Spoiler warning. This section details the whole plot of the movie, including its ending.
In the summer of 2013, the city of El Kadsre had been rocked by 2 suicides the same day, sending shockwaves throughout the city. Mitchell was...
- Alexander Landor as Lieutenant Michael M. Homan: An 11 year veteran of the Capulco Police Department, Homan's role in the film is split between recounting his experiences regarding the event itself, and the main investigating officer for the suicide case.
- Brian Hestal as Mitchell Ligertwood: A 17-year-old athletic sprinter at his local high school, he was the initial suspect in the lead-up to the suicide of both girls, due to being the girlfriend of Brianna at the time of the suicide. However, his behavior 1 week after the suicide removed any doubt from the police that he was not responsible since his behavior had shown signs of confusion, guilt, and grief. At the beginning, he was looking forward to the summer holidays, but after the suicide, he didn't know what to do anymore.
- Amberley Claire as Brianna Connolly: A supposedly cheerful girl from the outside, on the inside she secretly suffered from body image problems and anger outbursts, and secretly took prescription drugs to "cure" it. Eventually, she couldn't handle the stress, attacks, and hate, and seeing no other way, she hanged herself in her room on December 13th, 2012, alongside Abigail, setting off the events of the movie.
- Stanley Conrad as Darren Kennedy: A good friend of Mitchell, he was also suspected in playing a role in Brianna's suicide.
- Daniel Copeley as Riley Hackett
- Kelly Sanford as Abigail Montford: Another girl who had body image problems, she was often called an offensive name due to the number of failed relationships she had. Due to this, she often sympathized with Brianna over both their problems. Like Brianna, after her bullying started to get worse, she also saw no way out of her situation and committed suicide with Brianna on the same day as her.
- Blake Onians