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, October 26, 2013

Out In The Dark (Hebrew/Arabic)

What a lovely film. Yes, it is a dark film and very very real in terms of direction, execution and performances. I was quite positively surprised by the film and the subject. A gay love story between a Palestinian student and an Israeli lawyer is not the easiest to handle but kudos to the write, producer, director of the whole team to do this. The film really touched my heart and left a mark and something to think about for a long time.

Nimr is a young Palestinian man studying psychology. At night, Nimr avoids border patrols to illegally enter Tel Aviv and go to gay bars. His conservative family doesn't know about his sexual orientation. To top that Nimr's brother is a part of an extremist rebel movement who do not hesitate one sec to kill someone is he is gay. One such night he meets Roy, a handsome Israeli lawyer working at his well-connected father's law firm, and the two instantly hit it off. Nimr initially receives a student visa that would enable him to visit Tel Aviv once a week to take a course. However, the honeymoon is soon over for the young couple, when Israeli security forces attempt to blackmail Nimr by threatening to reveal his sexuality to his family unless he collaborates with them. Nimr's family ultimately finds out and disown him. His brother does not kill him but lets him escape to Tel Aviv and asks him to never come back. Hearing the entire situation, Roy tries his best to pull any strings he can to help his lover but comes up short. Nimr's situation keeps getting trickier and tricker. Roy finally manages to get a way out for Nimr from Israel to France and promises to meet him there. Here starts the cat an douse game between the 2 lovers and the secret service. What happens ultimately shocks you. Nimr manages to escape but Roy has to pay big price for it by being in prison.

The film's title is quite appropriate. The situation the protagonists are in forces them to run and hide, keep their love literally and figuratively in the dark, rather than celebrate it. The film shows the insane and crazy political situation in those regions in an so far unseen way. The love scenes in the film are touching, and surprisingly direct, but they were not at all intimidating or disturbing. The politics of the inherently tragic situation of a gay love affair in the midst of the Israeli Palestinian conflict is where the film really shines. The chemistry between the two leads is off the charts, gluing us to the screen whenever they share it. This is crucial, because it ensures we've invested in the fate of this forbidden romance. And the fact that the 2 leads are both good looking doesn't harm at all. As an actor, Nimr creates an earnest, charming, likable protagonist, who evokes our sympathy more and more as his situation deteriorates. Roy's compassion and care for Nimr is heart warming making us all want to have a Roy in our life. A crowd pleasing happy ending would have been unrealistic but the vague ending actually kept me satisfied.

This film is not about homophobia or the Israel/Palestinian conflict. It's about love and the desperate fight it must put up to survive in a world ruled by hate. (8/10)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Happy Sad

I was quite anxious to watch this film. I have been missing NYC quite a bit and this would have been one way to get back at those old days at least by virtue of locations. Honestly at that point, going to the OIA film festival, it wasn't really important for me whether the film was gonna be good or bad. A film about 2 couples, a gay and a straight, and how their lives intercept with each other, form the crux of the plot. The movie blends racial and sexual diversity into a modest exploration of hooking up in our modern world.

Marcus and Aron are a very happy gay couple who have been together for 6 years. Since its been a while, the couple decides to open up the relationship. They decide to not talk about various rules. The only rule is that they cannot fall in love with another person. Meanwhile, in the restaurant where Aaron waits table, we meet Annie who is there to break up with his 20 something boyfriend Stan because he is not stable in life. Unable to find a suitable excuse for break-up she says she is lesbian and wants to explore the other side of her sexuality. A series of co-incidences follow, which is weird but we will call in cinematic liberty. Marcus ends up meeting Stan on an internet date because Stan is heartbroken because of Annie. Annie starts gravitating towards her colleague Mandy who is dealing with her own family personal issues. Aaron meanwhile is having fun on the side with lot of men but does get jealous seeing Marcus with someone else. Things get to a complicated stage when Marcus starts falling for Stan. Stan and Annie meet after a long time and want to give it a try again but they both agree that they will not out any boundaries in the relationship and they are both open to explore their sexualities. Meanwhile Marcus and Aaron are finally falling apart. Marcus is totally in love with Stan and Aaron can't handle it any more and moves out. All the 4 characters in the film goes through a major change throughout and no one gets a proper conclusion.

The fact that there is no closure to any character is both a good and a bad thing. The film just ends and the viewers wonder what would happen. But I was ok because we can each then have our own interpretation. The acting by all characters is quite nice. They all seem very natural and comfortable which makes the viewing a pleasure. Stan was a cute twin with most beautiful eyes while Aaron and Marcus both acted very well. The film’s several sex scenes are handled with admirable composure, and the gay trysts are granted just as much attention as the straight ones. The film was quite straight forward yet complex. Was there anything extraordinary in the film? Not really!! But then it wasn't a bad film either.

I would keep this one as strictly average. (5.5/10)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Freier Fall (German) [Free Fall]

This is the first film that I was with 10 other friends in the Out in Africa film festival in Johannesburg. I guess this is the first time, I saw a film with such a large group. What was interesting is how all of us had different views on the movie. Some watched it for entertainment, some for romance, some focussed on nuances while others focussed on hotness quotient. It makes my belief even stronger that it os not necessary that whatever I like should and could be liked by others as well. We all have our own opinions. SUre there may not be novelty in the story but for me it was the  treatment that made a huge difference.

Marc is in police training. He has a girlfriend and a baby on the way. During his truing days, he meets his fellow inmate Kay and during their regular jogs Marc experiences a never-before-felt sense of ease and effortlessness. During one such jog, the day ends up in 2 men getting very intimate with each other. Marc realizes his mistake and runs away. He is now posted with a unit and Kay also manages to get posted in the same unit. Marc is very upset and angry with Kay's move, because he just wants to focus on his girlfriend and the baby and life has some other plans. He, at the same time, also finds himself falling in love with another man. When he can't control much, he gives in and him and Kay start a secret affair, while Marc trie to balance his life waiting for his baby to arrive. His girlfriend notices behavioral changes in him but doesn't think too much. One day when Kay is picked up in a gay bar, he is outed to the entire unit in his police division and even gets assaulted by a fellow policeman on a couple of occasions. But he truly loves Marc and even professes his love for him in from of his parents after Marc's mother sees both men kissing. Afraid of lying anymore, he finally tells the truth to his girlfriend who moves out with the kid. Marc is also confused about Kay and decides that he would like to bring their relationship to an end. After hearing the truth and dealing with it for a while, both Marc and his girlfriend decide that they cannot continue like this and need to break-up. Marc thinks of going back to Kay but its too late and Kay has already left the city. Marc is left all alone.

There were two scenes that stuck in my mind even after the movie ended. The first time when Kay and Marc hook up while jogging and Marc realizes what just happened, he runs fast, very fast. I thought that was a very well directed scene. And the other scene is when Kay offers Marc the keys for his apartment. The look in the eye of both Kay and Marc of that love and trust to share the apartment keys is so blissful. Marc is falling in love and is slowly realizing what it is like to be in love with another man who in turns returns the gesture by sharing the apartment keys. The background music of the film gels really well and gives a very genuine real feel with the audience. Acting by all principal actors is quite good. We get to see Marc and his girlfriend go through various stages in their relationship and deal with them like adults. Marc's character shows us as he learns to submit to his free fall, of what does freedom mean and how easy or difficult it is tone yourself or to be with someone who likes to be himself and to live in a society which expect certain norms and principals to be followed. On a side note, it didn't hurt to see the good looking Kay making out with another good looking guy who also happens to be both policemen.

In spite of an overload of stereotypes and cliché's, the film seems acceptable and very watchabale. I would definitely recommend it. (7.5/10)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Sum Of Us (Australia)

I think I had seen this film over 5 years back and had been wanting to see it again, so that I can finally put up a review online on my blog. Undoubtedly, this mvid depicts one of the most beautiful father-son relationships I have ever seen in a film. It is the true love, respect and affection that they have for one another that makes your heart how warm. Sure, sometimes you may feel that this is not as close to truth but who are we to judge. If this sort of relationship could exist in every family, that would be just awesome.

Jeff lives with his father Harry. Jeff is gay and his father is more than ok in accepting Jeff's homosexuality. He is happy and proud of what Jeff is and supports him in every way. The father-son understand each other so well that hey can predict each other's routine and what they are going to say or do. Through some flashbacks we also realize that Jeff's grandmother was a lesbian and the purest love Jeff can remember is the one that his grandma shared with her partner. When Jeff meets Greg, a guy with a string potential of being his boyfriend, It is very hard for Greg to see how open , cool, nice and good Jeff's father Harry is. This is because his own father doesn't treat him well. In fact he even throws him out of house when he comes out. Difficult to take the love and openness between father-son, he steps back which breaks Jeff's heart. At the same time Harry find a divorcee woman through a match matching business. Very soon they come very close to each other but the moment she finds out about Jeff being gay, she freaks out, accuses Harry of lying to her. Harry suffers a stroke because of all this leaving him unable to walk or speak. Jeff cares for him as best as he can, taking him to the park for an outing one day. Jeff and Greg meet up in the park and agree to try and rekindle their romance, while Jeff's Dad, although unable to speak, gives his overwhelming approval.

I liked the fact that the film doesn't have any OTT drama and no one gets AIDS and stuff. Its a feel good happy film about relationships. love, fear and hope. I also loved the fact that the gay characters were not stereotyped by any means. He is just a guy but a guy that isn't afraid to be sensitive or tough without being wishy washy or macho. Russel Crowe just fits so well in the film. The actor who plays Harry is too good. Although some people can take his love for son and over eagerness to find a match for him to be too intrusive and overbearing, it ultimately in totality all fits in. Considering that the film was originally a play, this film is competent, entertaining, warm, and full of hope that the world is moving in the right direction.

I would definitely recommend it to watch on a nice lazy evening with friends for a feel good viewing. (7/10)