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, November 29, 2015

Stand (Russian)

It was disturbing to watch this film. Disturbing not in a bad way, but in a way that you feel like appreciating what you have in your life. There are worse places and countries to be out there being a gay man. Surely, we have seen films about homophobia and gay-violence; but this film IMO shakes you up from inside. It is so hauntingly real, that it is difficult to explain.

Anton and Vlad are a very happy domesticated couple in Moscow. One evening, having taken a wrong turn in their car, they witness what they believe is a vicious gay bashing. Anton wants to help but Vlad pleads him to not do so of this own safety. They later hear about a young man being admitted in hospital with what is believed to be homophobic attack who later dies. Part of Anton feels responsible in some way and wants to investigate the story behind it. It’s dangerous territory but Anton is persistent, Vlad agrees to help. They make a plan and get help from the deceased’s siblings. Anton also gets help from Katya, a budding journalist in France. Anton tries to meet people online, hoping to find and trace the people who were responsible for the young man’s death. As Anton gets more and more deep into the whole situation, Vlad finally gives up and can’t take it anymore and breaks up. For Anton, nothing else is more important than finding out the truth. The ending shocks us all and is very unexpected but it maybe is the true representation of what being gay in Russia would actually mean.

First and foremost, huge respect for the film-maker to make such a hauntingly disturbing bold film. As actors Anton and Vlad are pitch perfect in there respective roles. Their eyes speak volumes of what they are both going through. They make a handsome pair, sharing a loving and natural chemistry in the comfortable privacy of their Moscow apartment. The way we are shown this couple’s life and how in one split second, their life turns upside down when Anton’s zeal to find the truth becomes self-consuming and nothing else is important anymore. Vlad supports him all the way till he feels it right but ultimately he also gives up when he sees that Anton is not being reasonable anymore. Anton’s point of view also quite quickly suggests that his vision quest has narrowed into tunnel vision. The Russian winter, the slow moving life, the interactions, the abuses feel all very real.  Given the intense worldwide outrage over Russia’s mistreatment of gays and the country’s 2013 federal law prohibiting homosexual “propaganda”, this film feel so much more relevant in today’s time and honestly it scares me. As a film, t slows down a bit towards second half but still remains focussed

A couple’s risky search for the truth ultimately and sadly has unexpected and grim consequences. But this is what make the film real. A complex, heart-breaking, thought-provoking and brilliantly acted and directed film; I highly recommend this film. (8/10)

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