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.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Behind the Candelabra

I don't know much about famous pianist Liberace except his name. So when I heard about this film, it came as a pleasant surprise for 2 reasons. First, that I had no idea about his gay side and second, how come it took someone such a long time to come up with a film on the subject. Making a full on film with big names like Matt Damon and Michael Douglas could not have been easy but this film is watchable for it is just because of the wonderful performances by these 2 actors. They both do a splendid job. More of that later.

Scott Thomas is a young gay man who grew up in foster homes. When he goes to see Liberace perform with his friend, he gets to meet the man himself. The flamboyant artist invites Scott and his friend to his house and soon gets attracted to the young man. Using his wealth and charm Liberace offers a job as his secretary to Scott just so that the 2 men can live together. In Scott, he finds the guy who can listen to him and be with him in his lonely times. When Scott starts gaining some relationship fat and Liberace starts looking odd, he comes with an idea of  plastic surgery. Liberace goes under knife to get rid of wrinkles and Scott starts taking pills for California diet (essentially drugs). Scott also goes under knife because Liberace wants Scott to look like younger him. The torrid affair which starts and last for a few years soon starts taking a toll. Scott is not allowed to go outside most time which starts suffocating him. He starts getting too addicted to drugs. All this makes Scott rebel against things. He also starts getting paranoid about Liberace sleeping with other younger men, which is not entirely false. Ultimately he seeks legal help after he is forced thrown out of the apartment. The film ends when Liberace dies of AIDS virus and thats the last time he meets Scott.

Michael Douglas stuns with his effeminate mimicry in the film as the world-known pianist, a flamboyant closeted-man, a selfish control-freak obsesses with his complexion and his tabloid news. He is just brilliant in delivering a strong, restrained, measured and complex performance. He does not get over board with it We get to see his loving caring side, his lonely side and finally the side where he just needed a new man every few years. Matt Damon as Scott is another wonderful act. Looking as a 70s hooker, he just fits into his role, also showing his ass more than just a few times through the duration of the film. His role just hives on his relationship with Liberace and lives in the moment. You can actually feel how stressed the character is being in a relationship with someone who truly loved and understood him but wanted to manipulate him. The make up though gawdy fits the premise of the film and the characters and the era. It was funny yet real to see Liberace's flashy clothes, pianos and even cars. I also like the fact that the romance between the two men was not all about sex.There are tender moments and a bond which ultimately leads to Liberace wanting to adopt the young man. Yes, the man was bizarre, specially when he wants Scott to undergo surgery to look like him but hey we have all sorts of characters in this world.

Its a shame that the film was premiered on TV and not in cinemas. Directed with sicerety, this film is a good watch, though not fully entertaining. (7/10)


Eternal Sonata said...

I have heard about this film and was also reading good reviews of Douglas and Damon's portrayal of the bizarre yet touching relationship between Liberace and Scott. I'd like to see this one soon. I dont even know who Liberace was and only heard of that name through running jokes. Oh how it must be a lonely existence being in the spotlight's stage and looking for comfort in someone through the point of self-obsession.

Golu said...

I think you will enjoy this film