I know I have said this many a times before but what can I do when it is so true. Frenchmen have come up with some of the best films ever and this holds true even for gay genre. The freshness in the scripts and execution is worth watching. I feel I am lucky to get a chance to watch these films. Not everyone is that lucky. I just hope more people start appreciating French cinema.
Handsome Malik returns to Tunisia from France to stay with his widowed mother, Sara. He is half Arab and half French and is already struggling with his roots. He wants to confess to his mother about his homosexuality but as we later find, she always knew just never wanted to acknowledge it. Malik seems attracted to rough local guys whose job is to service young rich men. Sara has an Arab guy called Bilal who lives in servant quarters who does menial jobs for her. Malik has instant attraction for him but doesn't know what he feels like. He keeps guessing it keeping the master-servant relationship going. Meanwhile, to keep relatives and the world happy, he agrees to marry his co-worker, a coupled lesbian who's having a baby by artificial insemination. The lesbian's father is unbelievably cool with all this. I want to be as cool as that old guy some day. Things happen and one fine day when both Bilal and Malik can't take it anymore, they go for each other which Sara soon finds out. After initial rejections, she finally accepts them as a couple and so does her extended family. Malik still goes ahead with his plans to marry his co-worker for the sake of the child. The film for a change ends in a very happy note.
The performances and the story was totally spot on. The humour was also there at the right places. This is a loving, wise, subtle, witty, sophisticated, erotic, almost Utopian vision of how life should be, a tonic to all those well-made but often dreary movies about gay life outside the urban gay Meccas of the West. The film's title comes from a piece of string that can be seen attached to Malik from time to time. The string represents the hold both his mother and his upbringing have on the man, and it is something he has dealt with since he was a child. Sara plays the role of cliched "overbearing mother" role so elegantly and sympathetically that you cannot help but like her despite her sometimes abrasive behavior. Bilal and Malik have an amazing chemistry. The movie doesn’t really explore in any detail the possible consequences of this gay union in a country where homosexuality is still illegal. The sub-plots few and between were also nice like Malik's meeting his cousin in a gay bar and having an affair, Malik's grandmother and her reactions etc.
This is a great film to watch and feel your one-and-a-half hour well spent. (8/10)
Started in 2007 to keep a track of gay films that I watched, this blog has come much further than I had planned. There are tons of movies that I need to watch and review here. Through this blog, I want to give you genuine, my personal heart-felt review of the films that I see. These are my personal thoughts and opinions about the films and I would love to hear your thoughts on these films as well. I always reply to comments in a day or two. Please help me make my blog more popular by becoming a member, following it and by recommending it to your friends. As far as I know this is one of the very very few gay movie review blogs where reviews are not linked or copy-paste imdb summary. Enjoy and do keep writing your feedback.