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.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Teus Olhos Meus (Portuguese) [Soulbound]

I wanted to like this film. I really did, despite its erratic direction, sometimes split screen visuals and scenes jumping from one event to other without sufficient explanation. The story was fine and after initial discomfort, you kinda get a hang of things but the end was so abrupt. The shock value in the end was interesting but a proper culmination was also needed. You can't just shock the audience and leave the story just there.

Gil is a 20 year old young man who lives with her aunt and her husband, since his mother died at a very young age. Gil loves his aunt to death but cannot stand his uncle. Due to the differences between then, the uncle throws Gil out of the house. Gil's life style is all about smoking, guitar, music and alcohol. When even his girlfriend cannot accommodate him at night, he is at the beach looking for alcohol where he meets 40 something Otavio. We earlier see that Otavio is with his boyfriend and he still very much remembers his teenage years when he was in love with this girl named Ligia. Gil and Otavio bond over alcohol and music, turning their chance meeting into an all nighter ending in a passionate kiss. Confused Gil ends up at Otavio's office looking for job. Otavio apologizes for the kiss and gives an opportunity to Gil and his group to record their songs, since he truly believes they are talented. Gil and Otavio end up becoming a couple, despite Gil's weird lifestyle of alcohol once in a while. But we do see Gil slowly becoming more responsible. When Gil takes Otavio to meet his aunt after the uncle dies, she is not prepared for what she sees. The aunt then tells Otavio of a shocking revelation that hits Otavio like a thunder.

The camerawork of the film was weird. It would sometimes shake so much, that it was hard to watch the film without getting a headache. There were sometimes extreme closeups, some poor choice of coverage and shots and overall a mixed bag. Like I mentioned earlier even editing was flawed cos the scenes would just move one one situation to another just randomly without any explanation. One minute we see the couple fighting and Otavio asking Gil to move out and in the very next scene, we see Gil taking Otavio to meet his aunt. There is no explanation given on why is Gil still very much into alcohol, sometimes lies to Otavio and then suddenly has a change of heart. On a positive note, the acting by the leads was quite decent and I think Gil can do something big.

I just the final twist should have come earlier, so that there was scope in the story to examine the emotional impact. (4.5/10)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Yossi (Hebrew)

I can't really remember watching a sequel of a gay film before. Either there haven't been one before or I have missed them. When I say sequel, I mean real sequel that takes the story forward and not just series like 'Eating Out'. Yossi takes the story forward from 'Yossi & Jagger', where the protagonist Jagger dies in a tragic military ambush and how Yossi is going on with his life.

Its been about 10 years since the incident had happened. Yossi is now a doctor but a very very lonely man. His anxieties are pushing their way into lonely nights with internet porn and growing detachment from his hospital's job. Yossi is still in closet, doesn't like to talk to anyone about being gay. A chance encounter with Jagger's mother at the hospital check up makes him to go to their house to tell Jagger's parents who he really is and what his relationship with Jagger was. Jagger's father is ok but the mother doesn't take it all too well. Being pushed to take a vacation, Yossi takes on a solitary road trip. He ends up picking 4 soldiers as hitchhikers who miss their bus. The groups of 4 is very very fun loving and they taunt him with the name Mozart. One of the guys in the group, Tom is gay and he  and the others are very comfortable with it. Tom wants to spend time with Yossi who still prefers to be on his own just reading books but Tom won't leave him alone. Its Tom, who make Yossi come out of his cocoon and he helps Yossi evaluate his problems over a period of time and Tom helps him bring back being comfortable with who he is.

From the production values perspective, this film is Eytan Fox's best work to date. Even in terms of story and direction, it is a very accomplished work. As a viewer we really get to expeience what Yossi is going through. It has been 10 years since Jagger's death but every single day, Yossi is still suffering thinking whether Jagger heard or not when he said 'I Love You'. Yossi is in denial of his nonexistent  social life. Following his daily routine, the audience also sees something very humane and sad. Noone would wish something like that for anyone. The inner turmoil that he goes through on whether or not to meet Jagger's parents is also done very very well. He is actually heart-wrenching. The movie then just goes in to a completely different dimension when Yossi goes a road trip. Yossi is always apologetic and ashamed of himself and his body. The young soldier Tom makes him realize that time have changed, Israel has changed and Yossi can be ok with who he is. In fact in a very touching scene when Yossi and Tom are about to get into bed, it is Tom who pushes Yossi to be comfortable with himself and his body and be proud of it. The acting from everyone is impeccable. Casuality driven Yossi, still in closet, carrying on from his military days has been acted really really well. The new guy Tom, does good job and looks cute but he does not have that mischief and innocent pure face and eyes of Jagger. He was something else.

A definite watch. I am so glad I decided to watch the prequel first and follow it up with this movie. I was able to connect with it even more and was still very very satisfied. (8/10)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Yossi & Jagger (Hebrew)

I saw this film first almost 6-7 years ago, just about when I had started watching gay theme films but not reviewing them. I am glad I did see it again because I had forgotten how good and emotional this film was and now I can also put in my views on this film on my blog. The movie although shot pretty much with hand held camera, is still strikingly beautiful. I think this film also features in one of the top ten best gay films of all times. I am not sure if I will put it there on my ratings but still this one is pretty darn good film.

Yossi and Jagger are both in military. Yossi, the company commander, is an introvert guy and largely a man-of-the-system. Jagger, the platoon commander, is an open and much more liberated guy. He is the star of the company. Yossi is determined to keep their love in secret. Whereas, Jagger, who is about to finish the service, believes that Yossi should leave the army with him. We get to see how Yossi and Jagger steal few moments here and there to be with each other. An unexpected military ambush is planned for the night. Shorty before that, the couple has a fight because Jagger wants Yossi to meet his family and have a more meaningful life where Yossi knows what his limitations are being in the military. Sadly, Jagger ends up getting killed in the ambush. Yossi finally tells Jagger he loves him, but it is too late by then.

By showing the apparently small details of the commanders' and soldiers' lives, the film creators emphasize the distorted situation in which these men and women are forced to live and die. A few select locations and a small ensemble cast make this film beautiful and emotional. Background music again plays a very important part like in other Eytan Fox's movies. Some of the scenes are awesome. The scene where Yossi & Jagger having a playful snowball fight, putting down their weapons, laughing like kids, having a blast. Or the one after explosion of the land mine, when Yossi finally admits his love and concern, ironically too late for it to do any good. The lead actors give a very strong performance as Yossi and Jagger. You feel for their love and want them to reunite. I could feel the loss that Yossi probably is going through but still cut do anything about it. Some people complain that film was only an hour. But I think , this is also precisely one of the reasons that this is perfect and the film connects. I have seen bunch of films which are stretched for no reasons. The final scene in Jagger's home is extremely tender and ironic and left this viewer with tears in his eyes. Production wise, the film might not rank high up there, but when it comes to soul, it had plenty of it.

Honest, direct, tender, touching, funny, bittersweet and beautiful. This is a must watch. (8.5/10)

Hot Boy Noi Loan (Vietnamese) [Lost In Paradise]

My first Vietnamese gay film and I must say it wasn't bad at all. I will have to look into my collection to see if there are more of gay films from this country. It had very interesting 2 semi-parallel stories which shows how individuals can get lost in the par aside of a big city. A relative persuasive story line and a believable ending makes this film worth a watch.

Khoi, a 20 year old guy moves to the big city with dreams in his eyes. Dong, an attractive young man befriends him to share his apartment with him when he sees Khoi looking for a place. Khoi meets Lam when he goes to check out the place. Dong and Lam turn out to be boyfriends, prostates and crooks, who won and steal all of Khoi's money and clothes. Not too later, Dong also dumps Lam. Lam starts working as a prostitute again on the streets till he once again sees Khoi and brings him home with him. The two become very close and eventually becomes lovers. Khoi constantly wants Lam to leave his job because it scares him but destiny has something else in store for these 2 men. Also in parallel we have the story of  mute, slightly mental middle aged guy. he is lonely and somehow attracted to a female aging prostitute. We also see how he ultimately gets fascinated by a duckling, who eventually becomes his only friend. Finally the duck brings the guy and the prostate together.

Although the movie was emotional and I was able to connect to the movie, I really failed to understand the need for 2 parallel tracks. It would have made sense if somehow the two tracks were connected, but they were not. Also, the editing was a little off. Sometimes, one track would go on for a long time, that you would completely forget about the first story which IMO was very confusing. I don't mean that either of the tracks were bad but overall either the screenplay or the editing definitely needed some modification. Actors did a good job in their respective roles. As a young Lam, who has completely given himself to destiny, we see and feel his pain. We also feel the emptiness and harsh life that the youngsters had and still have to go through sometimes. I wished the ending was happier but then I think the way Lam's character was built, something bad had to eventually happen to him.

I will now be looking for a few more Asian gay movies. Time pass. (5.5/10)

Ba'al Ba'al Lev (Hebrew Short Narrative) [Gotta Have Heart]

This short narrative feature is directed by Eytan Fox, a famous Israeli gay director. The film is set in a small town in Israel. Mizti and Guri are friends. Guri wants to relocate to Tel Aviv before he's "outed". Guri is the only one who knows about him. We also meet the very obviously gay Nohav as well who likes Guri. They all meet at a dance class. Enter the hunk and macho man Merito. He seduces Mizti on the first day and she ends up having sex with him. Guri and Nohav get some to talk where Guri tells him that yes he is gay but he just wants to get out. Nohav tells him that his dream is to dance with the love of his life and win a local song contest. After getting Mizti in bed, Merito's next target is Guri, which is also a mission successfully achieved. The film ends with Guri getting into an art school in Tel Aviv and he decides to have a final dance with Nohav because he knows the latter has a crush on him.

The music has been amply used in this film. This film is more like a camp film; colorful and fun and yet with intelligent emotions and confused identities. The characters suit the part and you can feel the dreams in their eyes. You smile when they share about the dreams. Guri wants to go to Tel Aviv, Mizti wants a husband with heart, Nohav wants to be loved and Merito? Well, we really dunno what he wants except that he wants to be someone who people should want. Thankfully this film doesn't leave you with tears in eyes. This one leaves you with a smile and that dreams do come true. Highly recommended. (7/10)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Hamam: The Turkish Bath (Italian/Turkish)

This film is Ferzan Ozpetek's first film. I have mentioned numerous time on this blog on my fascination for the films he has directed, so I was eagerly looking forward to watching this film as this was his debut. I must say, my expectations were completely met and I was again very happy and satisfied watching his cinema. There is some sort of authenticity, simplicity, complexity of relationships and the family values that make you watch his films and appreciate them.

Francesco and his wife Marta live in Rome and they run a small design company. One day Francesco finds out that his long forgotten aunt Anita has died in Istanbul and has left him her house. When he reaches Istanbul, he discovers that the house is actually an old hamam, in an old original part of Istanbul. Due to the downfall of the tradition, the hamam lost its appeal and had to be closed down. Francesco also finds the letters that his aunt wrote to his mom but never posted. He meets the family who was taking care of his aunt and his happily surprised by their kindness and simplicity. With their support Francesco decides to rebuild the hamam. He gets all support from the family and neighborhood and also find love in Mehmet, the son of the family. Francesco finally realizes that he might actually be  gay. When Marta comes to Istanbul, she initially finds it very hard to adjust and the real reason of her to come there is to break up with Francesco since she had been sleeping with another guy for past 2 years. One day she finds Francesco and Mehmet together kissing in the hamam and she picks up a fight and leaves the house. Francesco then gets murdered by the construction company who was trying to buy the hamam and other houses in the area to build a farm. Finally, Marta stays back because now she understands where Francesco was coming from and will now fulfill his dream.

This film as earlier projected in US is not a cheap gay thrill. Its actually a shame that they had to resort to such cheap gimmicks to market this film when the film otherwise is so brilliant in the first place. Except for one kiss between the 2 men, there is nothing cheesy, bad pr erotic about this film. The film is about finding true place in life physically and emotionally. Its about finding love and happiness in what you do. The love between the family, the 2 men, their kindness, everything is so charming to watch. My eyes were wet and with a smile on my face, I was enjoying every minute of the film. The characters were so spot on. Happy been related and be close to Turkey for 5 years now, I could see so much authenticity in the way the characters were portrayed. All the actors did a fantastic job and yes it indeed is a worthy debut as a director with equally charming follow-ups.

It's really a beautiful film, both in scenery, sentiment and depth of feeling. (8/10)

The Stranger In Us

Another one of gay cinema coming out of our very own USA. Independent cinema sometimes  can spawn up big surprises but this film has no genuine artistic merits. Even the way the story is told, gets confusing after a while. And why would you even do that? There are so many things in this movie that are unbelievable but that is besides the point!

Anthony comes to San Francisco following Stephen who is a therapist there. Anthony is a budding poet and they both are on the verge of starting life together. Every now and then Stephen gets angry for some small reason and then gets back to normal. After 6 months of a semi-abusive relationship, Anthony has had enough and he breaks up with Stephen and moves out and get an apartment of his own. Anthony now feels very very lonely and ends up striking a friendship with a 17 year old Gavin, a homeless street hustler, who has his own rough past. However Gavin enjoys con games and scams too much and the novelty wears off for him. They both long for stability but are not sure where life is taking them. Stephen comes back in Anthony's life to break up again and Anthony suddenly disappears to go back home with his parents. Anthony is left all alone inner strange world of San Francisco where he has no friends.

The film is not told in a chronological order. It keeps going back and forth every 5 minutes and after a while it is very difficult to pay attention. The film was not that bad that I had to leave midway but it was bad enough that I had to keep fast forwarding it for it to finish because some of the scenes would just go on and on without really adding meat to the story. This film has glaring mistakes all through. The choices that make no sense, the dialogue full of holes, the plot gaps that are as big as a bridge tunnel, etc. This film is replete with them. Anthony's Character is very timid and shy but some of his actions don't make sense considering he is painted from the beginning as being so introverted - like picking up random men.

Completely pass this one. (2.5/10)

Sebastian's Verden (Norwegian) [Sebastian's World]

A Norwegian gay themed film. Now this should be interesting. And interesting it was till I thought they spent too much time in detailing out the blackmailing and all that was going on in the movie. It feels that the film-maker wanted to cover every aspect of Sebastian's life, which is fine but then it becomes hard for the viewer to keep a track of everything that's going on.

Sebastian had a poor childhood. When he grows up, money is always on his mind and he will do anything for it. His best friend is Moon, who was smuggled for sex trade from Thailand. They met and a gym and have become good friends ever since. Sebastian is in a relationship with an old powerful man named Wilhelm. Initially started for money, this relationship is all about love and respect for each other. But Sebastian wants more. He along with Moon chalks out a plan, where Sebastian will be an escort to famous, elite, rich and powerful men and then blackmail them. His plan goes ok for a few times. Despite Wilhelm's plea to not do this, his biggest task is to steal money rom a gangster in Spain which he manages to complete with a few of his friends. In the meantime Sebastian mets a Thai stripper, whom he completely falls in love with and tells Wilhelm. Wilhelm is happy for him since he has just been diagnosed with cancer and may die soon. The gangster from Spain finds out from Wilhelm's lawyer (a woman who liked Sebastian but then is jealous of his girlfriend) that Sebastian was involved in the robbery. That  gangster killed Sebastian killed and then Moon hires an agency to get rid of all of Sebastian's killers.

My biggest problem with the film was, that it spent too much time in the stories where Moon and Sebastian spend time finding men and blackmailing them. They could have shown one in details and the others, they could have showed symbolically rather than spending all the time in details. This would have helped keep the film crisper. There are positive sides too. No one judged anyone for Sebastian being gay and then bi and then straight. It was just what he did. We get to see his soft side when Wilhelm dies and realize how much he really loved the man. We also do see examples of loyalty and friendship between Moon and Sebastian and couple of their other gang members. Acting from all cast was actually pretty good. Sebastian is throughout the film and he does a good job. He looks very young for the part but I think the character demanded it. Based on the book by same name, I can't say, if this was better than book or not, it still could have been made crispier and more interesting.

Just a fair to an average fair, some editing and shortening the film's length could have made the film more interesting. (4.5/10)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Walk A Mile In My Pradas

A very catchy title and once again we have a movie for straight people classified as "gay" because it has a gay character in it. This one even has a gay/straight theme, but if it was made by or for gay people, then it is even more absurd. This one probably looked like a good idea on paper but does not come across as entertaining as it probably could have been.

Tony, a macho straight guy and Steve, gay man with a boyfriend end up being co-workers. Because of a childhood incident, Tony has always been against gays. He is the classic case of homophobia. He can't stand Steve one sec. At a Christmas party, they both get into a verbal spat, which neither of their partners is able to stop. They both end up saying to each other that " I wish you were gay" and "I wish you were straight". Guess what! The christmas angel fulfills their wishes and both Tony and Steve start to notice changes within themselves. Steve suddenly starts finding himself attracted towards girls which hurts his boyfriend to a great extent. And at the same time, Tony starts avoiding his fiancé on the matter of sex in favor of watching TV. A lot of funny incidents follow including Tony's "coming out" to his family at christmas. When another verbal spat happens, both Tony and Steve realize that these changes started happening around the same time and they figure it was the angel because one the girls at the party saw the angel lit up when they asked for wishes. As it happens always, it's a happy ending where Tony is now  acceptable of gays and everyone.

I read a lot of people could not help laughing themselves but honestly I didn't feel like laughing at all, except when every time Tony's mother would correct everyone's english. Stereotypical straight and gay things that Steve and Tony end up doing did not make me smile but I could see how some straight folks would enjoy it. Acting wise both the guys did a decent job. The girl playing Tony's fiancé was a little irritating though. Also it was little hard to believe that in California people would be so homophobic specially in 2011 when this film was released. C'mmon now!!

Overall just a fair to average experience, although I can see some people really liking it. (5/10)

Welcome To New York (Short Narrative)

'Welcome To New York' is one of the better gay short narrative features that I have seen in a while coming from USA. I always complain how, we get to see some really bad gay movies made in US, with some good exceptions of course. So I was pleasantly surprised with this film. The humor and bitchiness of the characters were just spot on. And being New Yorker myself, I know it.

The film features Sherry Vine as a shrink and we are introduced to 5 of her patients who are new to New York and how they are coming to terms with this vibrant city. We first meet Cassie, who is a little neurotic, 'high on life' and finds weird when strange homeless people talk to her. She starts hallucinating about making it big in life like Oprah ( quite a funny dialogue interaction here). We also meet her room mate, good looking Scotty and a trick that he has at home. Second is Mick, a drag queen who works hard to keep up with city life. Mick is propositioned by a good looking dude at a club, they sleep together and the night ends with the guy paying Mick money for her 'services'. Next is Ryan, who is dealing with all the breakups that he has with girls and who can't figure out why the girls act, the way they do. We then meet Simone, who gets hit on by a creepy deli sandwich maker. She is freaked out and sad on why she is never hit on by a decent man. She still hopes she will one day meet a nice guy her age and she meets Ryan. And finally we have Jake who just has the most memorable day with a guy who he thinks could be love of his life but he just can't remember the dude's name. We see the confusion that goes in his head and how he copes up with it.

The 5 characters are very different from each other, in terms of people involved, stories told and the issues they face but they are in a way linked. They do share a theme of finding love in the big bad city of New York. And by the time the film ends we also get to see the 5 characters inter-related to each other, which I thought was a brilliant idea. Jake's story in my opinion was the best and most hilarious and acted pretty well too. Lockhart playing Jake has done a good job. Mick, the drag queens story, although done in a light tone is very touching and heart-felt. It is unfortunate reality that how some people can treat others just as a piece of meat when everyone deserves love and respect. Ryan's and Simone's story were average. I must say though that Ryan is really a very very good looking and hot dude specially in his stubble. Cassie's story is the weakest among the five but somehow fits well within the overall setup. The director, who is the captain of the ship,  has done good job extracting  good to excellent performances from all the actors which is not easy job, given it is quite a multi-starrer. Sherry Vine is hilarious and you can't help but salute and laugh at her expressions and one-liners. The film is not without its share of some minuses. I would have liked to see a little more of what happens to Ryan and Simone. A good story build up can be done there. The end of the film was also a little unsatisfactory. I am not sure what would have been a better ending but somehow it did not feel the right punch to end such beautiful narrative. A little more attention on the shrink's character could have also taken the film to another level.

Given a lot of the pluses and barely a couple improvements, this film deserves to be seen and applauded. Welcome to New York (8/10)

Les Roseaux Sauvages (French) [Wild Reeds]

It will be wrong to completely classify this film in the gay themed category. This i smog alike a coming of age film, in which a group of teenagers discover themselves amongst things that are going on around them. 3 boy son the verge of manhood and a girl in between. The interactions between the 4 protagonists forms the crux of the story.

Francois and Maite are close friends but not lovers. Maite likes him but she knows she is not in love with him. One night Francois discovers he is gay, when he is seduced by an athletic guy Serge from his class. Serge i snot gay. It is just a sexual adventure for him in school. But post this encounter, the 2 of them become good friends and Francois keeps hoping that something more will follow. We also meet Henri, who is originally from Algeria, a couple of years older than the others and is try cynical. He ultimately ends up falling in love with Maite, who is supposed to be his enemy and a hated communist. Francois is also attracted to Henri but does nothing about it. Serge breaks his relationship with Francois on the pretext of marrying his dead brother's wife and staying in the village. He is also secretly in love with Maite. The film ends up no one finding true love ultimately. Maite doesn't reciprocate Serge's love. Henri and Maite make out and have sex but cannot be together since Henri is leaving town and Francois will have to move on to find his true partner in life.

The film came out in early 90's and hence the setting i smote from that era. The actors chosen to portray these characters were just right and they had an innocent charm about them that the teenager characters demanded. The scene where Francois meets an older gay gentleman and wants his advice is done very well. It represents the desperate search for a way to destroy the lowliness, incomprehension, and lack of role models that are destined by his sexual orientation. Many of the viewers would be able to identify with the characters because we all would have faced one or more of the preachments that our protagonists in this film are facing. The kids handle the struggles in the typical manner of kids. Sometimes they don't handle them very well and other times they show remarkable grace and common sense.

I would recommend to watch this, except don't expect too much of a gay theme is this film. (6/10)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Skinny

I have always ben intrigued by black gay culture, more so because I barely know much about it. African American men have always fascinated me, and I am not talking just sexually. So, I was really looking forward to this film. Unfortunately, there're not many gay films about Black men for Black men. This film exactly does that and to a certain extent also does a pretty decent job of it.

We meet Magnus and his boyfriend Ryan. Ryan refuses to have sex with Magnus for 6 months so that they can get to know each other better and make this relationship special. We later find out about Ryan's secret life and what this was all about. $ of Magnus' friend arrive NYC for gay pride weekend. We then meet Langston, a British lesbian, who can’t quite seem to connect with a sexy bartender despite her obvious receptiveness. Joey lives in Atlanta trapped in a stagnant life with no men or means to escape. Kyle is the opposite end who whores around all day, loves sleeping with men and finally Sebastian, the baby of the group, who is still a virgin, has a hugest crush on Kyle, wants to lose his virginity to him despite Kyle's complete oblivion to his feelings. The weekend progresses getting to know these friends better, which involves discovering about Ryan's secret life. We also see Langston, Joey and Magnus give tips to Sebastian on the perfect seduction and sexual experience with Kyle. But ultimately what ends up happening with Sebastian, is something no one wishes. The latter circumstances brings distance between the friends, specifically with Kyle but ultimately the friendship just ends even stringer as the weekend comes to an end.

I would like to say that most of the actors suited their part and were natural except the girl. She, felt like was acting all the time and wash't natural. Magnus was the cutest of them all and also did a brilliant job. The film sometimes got into giving out too much information, on having sex, cleaning ass, HIV, sexual violence etc. but then this could be also looked upon as an opportunity to educate individuals. But to accommodate all this, the director seem to lost control over the actual pace of the film. Some of the scenes where Langston and Joey are just hanging out seem too stretched. I was particularly tired of watching them sitting in the bar and ogling at the stripper and the bartender. Overall, the tim gives the message of friendship, accepting and enduring it and the power of love.

A decent watch, totally bearable if you fast forward some of the long stretched elongated scenes. (5.5/10)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Black Briefs

"Black Briefs" is a gay short-film compilation featuring films that deal with darker themes. Even though the films are dark, they make you think. It’s always good to be adventurous every once in a while. Although I had already seen 2 out of the 6 movies in the series, it nevertheless was a decent collection.

Spring
Read here Spring

Remission
Sam, in a long cabin home in the woods, is just getting back from his oncology appointment is sitting and talking to his boyfriend about the results. Something makes him feel that he is being stalked. Upon letting his dog out the next morning Sam notices a bloody gauze pad on the floor with a string pulling it towards the basement. And the end is chocking. The film was interesting but I felt it was way too slow for whatever was going on.

Winner Takes All
Ryker cancels his theater performance for the night and invites the two guys who has been dating together; Brian and Ernesto. Ryker confesses to both Brian and Ernesto that he is having a relationship with both of them and has been dishonest to them. To decide who he wants to be with Ryker wants them to box each other in a “winner take all” fight. Brian a skinny not so tough guy and Ernesto a former boxer who was 21-3. The fight happens but ultimately it is Ryker who loses all. Ryker, a good looking twins, was one of the good thing of this film.

Promise
This was the best film of all. Stu and Chris are getting married today. Stu wakes up hungover remembering what had happened last night. We are witnessed to growing distance between the lovers ever since they opened up the relationship. Chris wanted it one time but Stu had been seeing this other guy continuously. This act of cheating by Stu send Chris in a rage and he brutally rapes his boyfriend. This was another very very interesting film. This has a very good potential for a full on movie.

Video Night
The opening of the films was very funny. A group of friends are making video. When they go to their den to watch the video, they notice a man outside their window. 2 guys go out looking for the girl, while the fourth guy stays realizing that the camera never stopped rolling and what he sees next is gonna blow his mind and body. This film was also quite a good one.

Communication
Read here Communication

An overall rating of (6/10)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Madame Satã (Portuguese)

Until I started watching this film, I had no idea this film was based on a true story. Now, whenever films are made on true stories, it automatically adds to the curiosity because there must definitely be something very interesting about that story that prompted a ilm out of it. This film is a portrait of Joao Francisco dos Santos, a flamboyant, fiercely proud drag queen with a hair-trigger temper, who became a legend in the clubs and slums and prisons of Brazil.

Joao Francisco is an aspiring performer and general seeker of the spotlight in Lapa, Rio’s bohemian district. While managing a life helping out at a local nightclub, he actually earns the bulk of his income from committing petty crimes – mostly robbing unsuspecting young men whom he takes to his bed and schemes with Tabu, his brother/sister/whatever "limp fairy queen" as he calls. He is street smart, hustler but also has a soft side. He gave shelter to Laurita and her bay daughter. The 3 of them form an odd family. Yet, rage is never far away for Joao, an unfortunate byproduct of his irrepressible passion for life and determination to rise above his poverty stricken surroundings. It’s that very same rage that lands the flamboyant performer in prison several times throughout his life. We get to see a couple of instances but apparently , he spent a total of 30 years of his life in jail. Eventually Joao starts working at a club and fulfills his dream of drag performances and ends up becoming very popular in Rio. We are told towards the end that Joao took up the name "Madame Sata" inspired by a film "Madame Satan".

The narrative of the film is done in a bizarre way. After about half an hour, I was left wondering what the whole point of the movie is because it was going nowhere. It just kept going from one episode to another without showing any connection between the incidents. Also the film unfortunately does not provide too much insight into the characters; be it Joao, Laurita or Taboo. It becomes very hard to connect with them at an emotional level. AGreed that the actor playing Joao has done a damn good job and acts really well but he has been let down by a weak screenplay. Tabu was another character whose explanation was not provided but was acted really really well. Also what was up with little to no lighting in the film. Honestly it doesn't make for any pleasant viewing at all.

The character build-up is insufficient and the editing quite confusing, causing the overall feel to be incomplete and puzzling. (3/10)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Gayby

Gayby is strikingly similar to a Will and Grace plotline that never materialized, following a pair of best friends aware that their time for parenting might soon pass them by. Other than the standard rom-com misfortunes of relationship misadventures, the charm that Gayby offers is what happens when a man and woman don’t find each other sexually attractive but still want to have a baby. An interesting plot line, that I am sure has been handled before, although somehow I can't recall watching any.

Yoga teacher Jenn and Matt are best friends. When her biological clock is ticking, she asks Matt if he would like to make a baby with her. Matt, who has recently broken up after 6 years in a relationship agrees because he likes kids too. Turned off by turkey basters and fertility specialists, Jenn insists they conceive “the old-fashioned way.” This "old fashioned way" makes some of the most funny moments in the film. While this is going on Jenn is trying to find a guy and so is Matt. We do get introduced to a few guys that Matt goes  out on a date with. Ultimately his eyes are set on a straight-ish guy who visits his coming book store with his son. They seem to hit off instantly. Meanwhile Jenn ends up having sex with the guy who is painting her house. So when she ultimately gets pregnant, she is not very sure whose baby it is. The misunderstanding keeps the friends away for a while, because Matt feels quite hurt. But as it always happens, alls well that ends well. Ultimately they have a baby and Matt finds love in the straight daddy. :)

Character actors, Matt's bear gay friend and Jenn's twins gay friend provide ample laughs in the film. Actually their dialogues keep the film light hearted. I would also like to mention that Jen's acting was very very good. Alas! the same cannot be said about Matt. He was strictly ok. A better actor in that role could have taken the movie to a different level. The production of the film is very minimal like a bare-bone indie film but at any stage you do not miss grandeur. This film does not need it.

Gayby doesn’t break new ground parenthood fields, but its balance of humor and sentiment makes it worth adopting. (5/10)

The Men Next Door

I had no idea what to expect from this film but boy, was I surprised or what. Falling in the rom-com genre (which usually is done in a very bad way) among gay films, this film was pleasantly refreshing. A novel concept, dialogues where you could not stop laughing and chemistry between the actors which was exquisite.

Doug is celebrating his 40th birthday when 3 of his closest friends come up with excuses to not attend his birthday party. Enter his next door neighbor Colton, whom DOug mistakes to be a stripper (planned by his brother). When confusion is cleared, the 2 men are instantly attracted and spend the night together. We also find out that Doug has also recently started seeing an older 50 yr old gentleman Jacob, whom he likes very much. So where is the complication? Doug is for a shock when he finds that Jacob is Colton's father. The comedy of errors begin and soon enough the truth is out to everyone. Unable to decide who does he want to chose, DOug suggests they all continue to see each other. Father and son try to woo DOug in their own possible way but it gets worse. When things go out of hand, the father-son duo decide to stop seeing Doug, so as to not spoil their relationship. Ultimately with the help of his brother, Doug figures out which one of the 2 men make him content and not just happy.

The basic idea behind the film is amazing. I never thought of it and the way it has been played out on the screen is also worth mentioning. DIrector Rob Williams has done a fantastic job extracting out very natural performances from all 3 actors but Doug deserves special mention. He not only has the boy next door charm but is sexy in a different way. His 3 friends also add an interesting dimension to people around him. They were all very funny. The girl was a little OTT but I am ready to forgive. Keeping the comic theme going, the film maker very subtly raises issues about age and cross generational dating specific to the gay community. It was also very heartening to see Doug's straight brother being always there for Doug and when he needs help.

Enjoy this movie. ENough eye candy, good story and acting. What else do you want? (7.5/10)

Friday, December 21, 2012

And Thou Shalt Love (Hebrew)

Ohad is a young attractive 20 year old Jewish guy who is studying in the special "Hesder" program for orthodox soldiers. He feels lonely while concealing about his homosexuality. When he calls a religious hotline for help, he is advised that forty days of fasting and repentence will extinguish his homosexual tendencies. Ohad takes the required steps, and after the proscribed period is convinced that he is "cured". Enter Ohad's best friend Nir, who returnsfrom the army, and Ohad realizes that he really has not been cured. All his feeling return back stringer than ever. He even risks everything when he comes on to his friend Nir, who shouts back in return and asks him to leave the school. Ohad is torn between the man he loves and God. He ultimately comes to understand that to struggle is useless and accepts himself as a gay religious man and makes peace with his creator and himself.

The film is apparently semi-autobiographical by the director and it is interesting to watch. I am very curious to know what the reaction would have been when this film was originally screened. Mixing sexuality with religion , specially in orthodox jewish culture is not easy and is bound to evoke criticism. I wish the folks in Israel are more tolerant towards gays after watching this short film. Brilliant. (8/10)

Chase (Short Film)

After leaving football practice, college friends Seth and Charlie get into a fight with local thugs unexpectedly. Running from them, they end up hiding in a basement hatch. In the heat of the moment and adrenaline pumping moment, things happen between the two boys. They end up having sex with each other. Over the next few days, Seth is struggling with everything that has happened and whether he is gay or not. He can't stop thinking about Charlie. Risking his friendship, he ultimately asks Charlie, who is try surprised to hear that but agrees if he gets a chance to be the top. They both go home but since it is so planned, neither of them feels sexual towards each other. When Charlie is about to go back, he one last time sees Seth and something rises inside him again. The 2 best friends will hopefully now be 2 best lovers.

The Print of the film that i saw was pretty crappy. I wish I had seen this in better quality. Th guys were hot, the subject pretty interesting and directed really really well. One of the better short films in recent times. (6.5/10)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Where The Bears Are: Season 1

Having seen 'Bear City' a couple of years ago, which I tremendously enjoyed, I was hoping to have a lot of fun in this film too. The film was not too bad but then it was stretched a little bit. ALthough, actually this was originally a web series and converted to a movie later, so I guess from that point of view, the makers tried their best to contain everything in a movie time, which wasn't bad. Remember, just don't put too much brain into what you are about to watch.

Nelson, Wood and reggie are 3 bear room-mates. At Nelson's 'supposedly' 40th birthday party, one of their guests is found dead the next morning in the bath tub. The same night, a super hot guy Toddy has sex with Nelson which confuses everyone as to why would someone like Tod be with Nelson. The rest of the series follows these men trying to find who the killer is, them flirting with other gay bears, sleeping with them and questioning everything going around them. Woody is the brawny but brain dead one while Reggie thinks he is the hottest and can get any man he wants. We are introduced to a hot detective who is a fan of Woody, when Woody used to do porn. Also a woman who used to have hots for Woody when they were in school. There is a point when Toddy is the main suspect of the murder with everything that's going around but ultimately the truth comes out.

There is a lot of eye candy in the film if gay bears are your type. There is tons of kissing and nudity in the film. Although no frontal view. :( Some of the gags were nice but after a while, it gets to you. Nelson thinking of himself as a great and a busy actor always evokes laughter and yes All the scenes that prove how brain dead Woody really is; they are all precious. Unfortunately Reggie's character is not built much except that he is always trying to put Nelson down.

It is not boring film. I have seen so much gay crap, that some genuine laughters while watching this are not bad at all. (5/10)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Skoonheid (Afrikaans/English) [Beauty]

When the film started, it felt different; good different. I had the same feeling for almost half point of the movie, despite the fact that the movie was paced very very slow. Each scene lingered 10-15 seconds longer than necessary. Sometimes less is more, and certainly in this case I felt that throughout the film. Had it been better edited, it could have built the tension more effectively in a decent 60-minute film.

Francois is a 40-something man living a unhappy married life. He sees Christian, a close friend's son, at his daughter's wedding and gets totally obsessed with him. We soon realize that Francois is a closet homosexual case. In a very small community of people, who belongs to a very very small group os closet gays who meet once in a while to fulfill their desires. Francois tries to control his obsession as much as he can but he finally gives up. He travels to Cape Town from his village to do something about this, hoping that Christian will have the same feelings for him but his dream is soon to be broken. He sees Christian with his daughter having a good time and it breaks his heart. His inner evil self soon takes over his mind and he starts plotting which ultimately ends up with Christian giving a lift to Francois and to his hotel. Christian needs some money for his business and he asks his 'uncle' Francois for it but Francois has something else in mind. He brutally rapes the young man in his hotel room when Christian refuses to kiss him. When he comes back home, he continues with life as if nothing had happened. The movie ends with Francois withdrawing money from bank (possibly to give it to Christian) and just envying a gay couple in Cape Town.

I was surprised when the film abruptly ended. There was no resolution to the whole rape episode, no punish meant for him, no idea of how Francois felt about it!! Was he remorseful, happy, sad or just didn't bother. We don't know what happens to Christian either. The film is paced very slow so that we can absorb the characters and try to imagine what is going in their head. This is good for a short film or for sometime but after a while it becomes too much to handle. The realism of the movie is uncomfortable at times. Francois acted really really well and yes, Christian was definitely very very good looking. As a gay man, I can see myself getting attracted towards him. He is totally engaging and lights up the screen in every single scene of his.

An interesting film that started fantastic but ultimately ended up a frustrating experience. (4.5/10)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Abrupt Decision

Abrupt Decision looks at how a gay couple are impacted by life-altering events. The thought behind the film was good but sadly the direction and the acting by its lead left a lot to be desired. There were moments when I could just not wait for the movie to end. It seemed it was going nowhere and at the same time it was going everywhere. The movie could have been a brilliant short film of 30 odd minutes but stretching it into a full length feature film was probably not the best idea.

Dennis is having a bad day. He gets laid off from his job of 20 years. His relationship with his long term boyfriend is going through a rough patch for a while. The boyfriend, works (read blogs) from home, so dennis is the primary bread earner. They live in suburbs so that they can be close to Dennis' mother who soon gets ill. Not knowing what to do after he loses his job, he thinks of a couple of things but none of them goes anywhere. When his ailing mother suggests them to get a dog. He goes to the shelter and is shocked to learn that older dogs are routinely euthanized there because of lack of space. To his boyfriend's irritation and disapproval, he brings 2 dogs home and then brings even more when he finds out they are gonna be soon put to rest. Dog after dog, finally Dennis realizes what he can do and ultimately for better, they keep all dogs to save them and the relationship of the couple is also saved.

Story sounds odd, doesn't it. Trust me, while watching I felt the same. Dennis just did not look natural. His helplessness just did not come across even 10%. On the contrast his boyfriend did a pretty decent job. Although the 2 of them did not share any decent chemistry and it wasn't also very clear why they had grown apart per the years. Dennis' mother was over the top with heavy southern accent but still fun to watch.

This is not a great film by any stretch of the imagination. DIfferent cinema doesn't always end in good cinema. (3/10)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Chitrangada (Bengali/English)

'Chitrangada' is very small story in the Indian epic Mahabharata. Born a girl but raised as a boy and a warrior, she falls in love with warrior prince Arjun, when she sees him. But she knows that he won't love her back since he thinks of her as a woman. She then gets a boon from the Hindu God of Love and transforms into a beautiful feminine woman. This short story serves as a backdrop for this film directed by ace director Rituparno Ghosh also acting in the film.

Rudra or Rudi is a dance drama director and is working on adaptation of the story of Chitrangada on stage. He is gay and everyone knows it. One ay , the lead actress of the play introduces Rudra to Partho, a drug junkie but also a percussionist player. Rudra has instant attraction for Partho and hires him. Their love starts and blooms. There are various occasions of heartaches but they both stick to each other. Rudra's parents though very conservative, have no choice but to accept whatever is going on. One ay discussing about their future, Partho and Rudra start talking about children and the fact that the law of the country doesn't allow them to adopt a kid. Rudi comes up with the idea of getting a sex change operation so that they can legally be a male-female couple, live happily and eventually adopt. Partho dismisses the idea but Rudi is hell bent to go with it. His parents are shocked when they hear about it but like before, there is nothing much they can do about it. Rudi starts undergoing a series of surgeries starting with breast implants. He starts feeling Partho being a little recluse. Partho is now seeing a girl and still has not given up on drugs. His argument is if he was interested in a woman, he would rather go for a real woman rather than a synthetic one. Rudi is heart broken and starts seeing a counselor in the hospital to make sure if he really wants to go through with the surgery. They have some very good discussions and the night before the final surgery, Rudra decides to back to being how he was (remove implants) and accept the body that the God provided him.

This is a film which discusses the gender transformation, same sex relationships, crossing of minds and bodies mentally, emotionally and psychologically. For Indian cine-goers this movie is even more interesting because the director who also plays the role of Rudy is going through something similar in his real life. He is gay and there have bee noticeable changes in his body with rumors about sex change rumors. Many believe that this is his semi autobiography, which I don't find hard to believe. That aside, I will try to review the film in its entirety. It has not very well explained, what is it about Partho that attracts Rudra towards him. Honestly, there is nothing but then love is blind. And if Partho was actually straight (or maybe bi), why did he get attracted to Rudi. Was it just because he wanted someone stable to take care of him. Like when he asks Partho. "Will you suffer for me?". The reason for Rudi to go for a sex change operation is not justified enough. It seems using children as an excuse, Rudra just always wanted to be a woman. Dealing with 'inner-self' is also a major crux of the film which comes in form of Subho, the counselor, who actually never even existed. The journey of self-identification and belief, is crucial to lift the problem from sexual orientation to gender identity. Rudra in the end did understand that the sex change will not change the gender or his sexual orientation. Hence the betrayal of Partho doesn’t affect the soul since in Partho’s rejection of the physical sexual organs lies the bigger betrayal of not recognizing Rudra’s gender identification of his own. Partho's role has been played very well. Rituparno is an excellent and marvelous director but how I wish I could say the same about his acting. It i snot bad but it looks made-up for some reason. It doesn't natural like others in the film. All the scenes with parents and discussions are very very well done and really make you think hard.

I know this is along review, but being Indian myself, there are a lot of places where I was able to connect with this film and hence it needed more time and space for my thoughts. Do catch this film but be patient because this is gonna need a lot of it. (7.5/10)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Bad Boy Street (French/English)

An interesting truly bi-lingual film made by an American director, this film does manage to keep you absorbed till the end. It might not excite you too much but at the same time, it does succeed in keeping you absorbed throughout, just to see what is going to happen next.

Claude is a 40 something French guy. One night returning form clubs, he finds a guy passed out completely and brings him home and washes his clothes and just is nice to him. This guy Brad, wakes up in the morning and finds the gesture very nice and returns favor by a morning job. Brad realizes that Claude doesn't know who he is and he can be himself. We later find out that he is a famous American actor and that Claude hates American films. An unlikely bond establishes between the two and they hang out to get to know each other and possibly find love. Claude's best friend Catherine is very happy with this development. She wants best for Claude. All this while Brad has been successful to keep his identity secret. But when a surprise birthday party is hosted by Catherine for Claude, his friends recognize who Brad is and Brad runs away. He messages Claude about his reality and how only with Claude, he was able to be himself. He loved him but unfortunately he cannot see him again. 6 months later he returns to Paris for promotion of his film and meets Claude again. Their awkwardness is very apparent because Claude has tried his best to move on by now. Clearing all unpleasantness, they sleep together and be with each other. Brad has to leave the next day to go back to US. Will he, won't he?

This film was a serious gay romance, but how I wish the production values were a little more accomplished. I think Claude's choice of actor was apt but Brad just did not fit his role of a famous Hollywood movie star trying to hide his identity. His acting also could have been better. The film’s production just feels a little too rushed and some editing choices make the film feel like a student production, which feels little too rough to be a stylistic choice. I really enjoyed the bi-language nature of the film. The mix of British and French is an interesting and greatly appreciated mix. However, looking passed the technical issues, it is not a bad movie at all.

Bad Boy Street is time pass and you wont be bored for sure. (5/10)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Half-Share

A funny, over the top comedy, but still funny short film filmed in Fire Island. Anyone who has ever visited Fire Island can really appreciate the bizarre humor. Especially when they talk about high tea, low tea, dinner and other rules of hooking up. Mac is fresh out of a long term relationship and decides to go to Fire Island from Oregan for a change with his friends. He contributes to a share there with his long time friend Ito. We are introduced to other housemates; a couple Michael Yes and Michael No; Lex who is all about sleeping with men and Harold, a black gay queen. They all try to make Mac feel comfortable but he finds himself totally out of place. Stuff happens over the weekend with various parties, hook-ups, fights and love. Ultimately after the weekend, Mac finds himself in a mesmerized with the entire culture of Fire Island and being with gays all over the place and is ready and looking forward to the rest of the summer every weekend.

Alec Mapa as Ito is spot on in his role who tells Mac all about FI culture and language nomenclature. Actor playing Mac suits his role just fine as a straightish uptight gay man from Oregan. Others were all very well too. Film is about 30 minutes, quirky, witty and funny. (6/10)

Männer zum Knutschen (German) [Men To Kiss]

Wow!! I haven't seen a really heart touching funny gay film in a while and this one was thoroughly entertaining.A film about trials and tribulations of a gay couple is done with such fines and professionalism that you are bound to like the film. The film is very light hearted too.

Ernst is your typical macho guy who works in a bank. His boyfriend is Tobias, which is your another stereotypical party guy, full of drama and just about happy with everything in life and does nothing for work. They are in a very happy space with each other for past 6 months. They hang out together and with Tobias's friends. Enter Uta, Ernst's friend from childhood who has come back from US. We later find out that she was Israeli spy agent. He always had hots for Ernst and start playing mind games with Ernst so that he can breakup with Tobias. Realising very quick what she is after, Tobias gets together with his friends to do anything to save their relationship but ultimately Uta wins and the couple breaks up. Ernst finally realizes his mistake and in a very hilarious and heart-warming climax, wins Tobias back.

The story of the film is very simple but like I have said many times before, its the execution that makes the difference and in this case, what a difference it made!! The chemistry between the lead pair is amazing. It is one of the best I have seen recently in a gay film. Business like Ernst and flamboyantly histrionic Tobias compliment each other well playing off of one another as the serious straight fall guy and the comic who never seems to take things seriously. The opening scene when Tobias visits Ernst in the back is too funny. In fact, their chemistry with the supporting cast was also very very well acted and directed. Some of the dialogues are hilarious and you, as a viewer, always have a smile on your face. All the cat-mouse games of Tobias and Uta are very funny but very practical and realistic. A film where you can actually connect with the characters, has done their job very well. After a long time, this is a gay film that does not enter into the realm of gay politics and rights. It is strictly a comedy about two lovers that just happen to be gay and thats what makes it very beautiful.

A very very enjoyable and wonderful charming romcom. (7.5/10)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Keep The Lights On

I am lacking so far behind on catching up on some of the films, it is getting a little tiring but I am gonna try my best to keep up with it. Released earlier this year, in this film the central relationship is between gay men but the film manages to touch on failing/toxic relationships in general and offers up some noteworthy and humorous ensemble performances. We haven't seen in many gay films how you would like to hold on to your true love and would be ready to do anything for them and to keep the love of your life close to you.

Erik is in his 30s and is a documentary film maker. He is addicted to casual sex after breaking up with his long term boyfriend. A casual phone sex hook up leads him to meet Paul, who is initially closet. Friendship soon leads to love between the two men. Paul is a drug addict and self-destructive right from the beginning but Erik ignore these signs initially. When things get so bad and Paul stops showing up at home for days at a stretch, Erik decides to intervene. He forces him to go to rehab while getting his life back together. Erik's set of close friends give him a moral support during these hard times. After Paul is back, for some days things are ok and Paul is grateful to Erik but old habits die hard and Paul's disappearing acts soon follow. This time things get even worse. Occasionally Erik keeps going back to his habits of phone sex but deep down he still deeply deeply loves Paul. Years pass again. Its almost 9 years since the 2 have been together. Paul comes back again ( I guess from another rehab). They try to be friends and casually date. But Erik is not sure this time. He still truly deeply loves Erik but cant figure out what does he want to do with the relationship. How long can he stand being taken advantage of. Finally he takes a stand and tells Erik that he loves him but he cannot be with him anymore. He cant take it. The 2 part amicably but Erik has lost his love finally for good.

While writing this review, I can imagine the potential this film could have had with a little more polished direction. One of the major flaws is that the film is supposed to be happening between 1998-2006 but not once do we feel that era is talking, clothes, environment etc. The way people act, makeup, dress up etc, it could easily have been a story of just a month. Even the looks or clothes of the led actors hardly change over a period of 8 years. The film should have paced well a little. But the film had good moments too. It is hard to see someone like Erik, so madly and deeply in love with Paul that he sees everything that Paul does but still ignores all of it just for the sake of love. One of the most emotionally disturbing scenes in the film is when Erik finally finds Paul in a hotel room, all drugged up and he just sits with him while he is having sex with a random person. Things that you would do for love! Acting from Erik was good but as a viewer I was a tad bit emotionally disconnected with the storyline and this is where the film fails.

The film had potential to be really good but ends up just being average. (6/10)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Un Difetto Di Famiglia (Italian) [Family Flaw]

A pseudo comedy movie, which also explores relationships like never before between brothers who have not met each other in a long long time. This movie is entertaining but stretched sometimes beyond a point, it still keeps viewers glued waiting to see what happens next.

Francesco and Nicola are brothers who haven't met for over 40 years. As kids they were very closer and thick as thieves. Francesco left the small town, when he came out publicly that he was gay, to spare his family of the humiliation that might follow. Cut to present, when Nicolas' daughter is about to be married, the mother of the 2 boys dies and Francesco appears at her funeral after all these years. When the mother's will is read by the notary, both brothers are surprised to know that their mother wanted to be buried next to their father in their hometown. A road journey starts next between the 2 brothers, who can't stand each other and they will now have to work together to make up for all the years that they have not kept in touch. On the way, Francesco disappears a couple of times and we find that he has a daughter which Nicolas is shocked when he finds out. At one point Francesco even tries to commit suicide, which makes Nicola re-think of his behaviour towards his brother for his entire life. The mother's last journey ultimately brings the brothers back together with Nicola now really not caring a damn about society.

At heart, there is positive message because we get to know the terrible shame Nicola suffered when the small minded town rejected his brother for being different. Nicola acted really well. You could see his frustration for being forced to be with his brother, his resentment, but also his love that he still had for his brother. It was just a matter of them talking to each other to get it out of their systems. Its funny, how sometimes communication makes all the difference. The supporting actors also all did a decent job. It was funny to see every time Nicola would pretend to get a heart attack. Francesco also did a good job of an aging gay man, who is struggling with his life which is possibly coming to and end soon and feels complete after having met his daughter, grandson and finally his brother.

Made for TV, a feel good movie about old small town Italian mentality. (5.5/10)