In 2014, 18-year-old Conrad Roy took his life with the help of his ‘girlfriend’ Michelle Carter. Michelle wasn’t present for the act, but rather, she was in her home bullying and encouraging Conrad to take his life. in Lifetime Movie Network movie Conrad and Michelle: If Words Could Kill explores the relationship between the two and how Michelle to manipulate, encourage and bully Conrad into taking his life.
Conrad (Austin P. McKenzie) and Michelle (Bella Thorne) met in Florida in 2012 or thereabouts when both their families were vacationing. Conrad, who suffers from social anxiety, saw Michelle at a bar-b-que but was not able to speak to her. Michelle took it upon herself to speak to Conrad and thus the friendship turned girlfriend/boyfriend developed. Both Michelle and Conrad spoke a lot about suicide but Conrad seemed more serious about it than Michelle. And once Michelle got her claws into that aspect about Conrad, along with his anxiety and his low self-esteem.
FROM THE OUTSIDE – CONRAD
From the outside, Concord seemed like a happy-go-lucky kid who has a lot going for himself, but inwardly, he was suffering. His main issue was anxiety. He had major social anxiety. Whenever he was around people, regardless if he knew them or not, his anxiety would be through the roof and sounds would be enhanced. For example, when they showed him in his science class, sound shoelaces being tied was loud and distinct, the pencil to paper was loud and distinct and other sounds were the same. It became too much for Concord that he had to run out of the room. His safe place seemed to be on his dad’s boat which was named after Concord.
Concord loved his family. Although his parents were divorced he split his time between his dad’s house and his mom’s house in which his two sisters lived as well. Conrad seemed like a likable guy that played on a baseball team, plans to go to college and just a bright future.
FROM THE OUTSIDE – MICHELLE
Michelle was a different duck altogether. Outwardly, she was odd. She worried about her weight and talked about her weight a lot, although she probably weighed a buck fifty soaking wet. In one scene when she weighed herself and shocked by what she saw she began running in circles around the room and doing both pushups and situps. She had a best friend named Carol whose mother thought Michelle was a bad influence on her, thus cutting off the communication. Carol’s mother was right about Michelle. Soon Michelle latched on to some new friends who ended up trying to avoid her as well.
Michelle’s family structure did not seem as loving as Conrad’s, but this could have been the movie’s way of showing that even if someone comes from very loving family thoughts of suicide or the actual act won’t be preventable. This is my thought. Although she lived in a nice house, we didn’t see much connection between her mother and her, nor her father (or possible step-father) and her sister.
POKING THE PIG
Michelle is a manipulator and preys on the weak and it’s extremely evident when she spots Conrad’s weakness, his anxiety, and self-doubt, and uses that against him to coax him into killing himself. Her manipulations with those not as weak as Conrad, she concocts stories to gain a sympathetic ear from others. She knows how to play both sides of the fence to get what she wants.
Michelle is also a sociopath, a psychopath, and a murder. I feel that if Michelle could get away with actually killing someone she would and this is the fear that the world should feel as well. Again, the evidence is the method in which Michelle encouraged, manipulated and then bullied Conrad into getting back into his truck and to kill himself. She was able to egg him on viciously and then softly. She changed emotions every second with every letter she typed to Conrad.
The movie intwines a trial (movie trial not the real trial) with how the whole thing started. It does a great job of showing the personalities of both Conrad and Michelle, their family lives, and their connection to each other. When the two are together they laugh and have a good time, but through texts, it’s all about suicide and Michelle encouraging Conrad to go through with killing himself.
The writing and directing of the movie were great. The follow was perfect. The movie didn’t leave you overwhelmed but leaves you with many questions. I highly recommend watching it the next time it’s on LMN and since it just premiered last week, you’ll have plenty of chances.
If you want to read the full story of the real Conrad and Michelle, you can here.