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, March 25, 2017

Moonlight

This film is very important not just for the black community but also very much for the African-gay people, who like a lot of other communities struggle to be themselves. This film especially becomes important form a US standpoint when politically things are going downhill and people are very quick to judge anyone who doesn’t cater to the social norms. I have been hearing so much about the film, especially after winning the Oscar award, so naturally my expectations from the film were quite high and I have to admit that the film actually meets expectations to a large extent. It is important to understand and relate to what and how a child goes through and how any small thing can infest a kids mind and ultimately shape his or her future.

The movie is told in 3 parts and focusses on life of Chiron, a young boy. Drug dealer Juan watches Chiron being chased after by school boys shouting faggot behind him. He rescues a boy but in a manner that doesn’t shelve his self-respect and bring him home to nourish and be good. Chiron lives with his drug-taking and single mother, who really doesn’t care much for him. Chiron gets bullied in school and just occasionally his latin friend Kevin comes to him as a true friend. Juan takes him in his wings just to gives a loving nourishing environment. Stage two in teenage years. The bullying hasn’t stopped and life hasnt much improved for Chiron. He is still the same shy boy and still only has Kevin as a friend. One night along the beach, the two come closer but just the next day Kevin ends up beating Chiron because of provocation by another classmate. Chiron brings out all his anger and hits that classmate badly and gets jailed for it. We move to stage 3, where Chiron is a different man. He deals with drugs on street and is now all buffed up. But what hasn’t changed much is his shy demeanor. His mother is now is rehab and apologizes for how she dealt with him. A chance call by his friend Kevin brings him back to the town. The 2 friend relive old days; each one not showing what really they want form each other. There is the awkwardness between them , before Chiron finally gives in and tells exactly what brought him there. The film ends at a very tender moment.

Story wise although film may feel simple but its the treatment that sets it apart. No where you get to see over the top drama. The way Juan and his wife bring Chiron in their family while respecting the fact that he still has a mother raising him is handled really well. The scene where young Chiron asks Juan, what a ‘faggot’ means and if he is one; its brilliantly handled. Juan takes the word apart, and doesn’t take Chiron apart with it. In the teenage years, Chiron, now skinny lad is still dragging himself with no friends. So that one night when Kevin and he end up kissing at the same beach where Juan taught him to swim, it breaks your heart to see that Chiron asks for forgiveness after the kiss. Thankfully Kevin (very very cute) simply says “What have you got to be sorry for?”. And the boys get a little more closer. And finally the young grown up Chiron. Yes we wonder what happened in the jail that made him change so much as a person but you see the light in his eyes and confusion on getting that call from Kevin (again really handsome). The scenes that follow between grown up Chiron and Kevin are some of the best scenes of the movie. You see the hapiness, confusion, ecstasy, eagerness; all in both of them but they both just don’t know how to express the feelings and the tension is just brilliant. Acting wise, everyone is simply brilliant. There is an interesting continuity between the three boys and you feel that yes its the same boy that has grown up. The three of them have brilliantly managed to keep the skin of character inside them. The film is slow yes, but thats what makes it even more of a classic. I feel like I will have to watch this film again in a few months just to understand all the intricacies, the nuances and silences of the characters. Scene where Chiron talks about crying and fearing of turning into an ocean just before the kiss is also so sad. I am now remembering more and more scenes like that. The best impact come from that final moment when the two best friends just hold each other because they know what they want.

Its about human emotions and connections and not race, skin or color. Its about men and fact that its ok for men to cry and feel vulnerable. A toast to all those who have struggled to identify and accept love and finally achieve it; this movie is brilliant and an absolute must-see. (9/10) 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Un Bacio (Italian) [One Kiss]

A beautiful and touching film, although not-necessarily a centrally gay-themed one. The film deals with issues of friendship, acceptance, rebel, self-confidence. Equal focus is given on all three primary characters in the film. More than anything it is about friendship and how one kiss could change the lives of friends.

Slowly, three of our primary characters are introduced to us. Lorenoz is new to town. He is outgoing, exuberant, very gay and likeable (if you want to). He has been adopted by very liberal parents and brought to town. Parents are ready to fight with school authorities if they have to, to make sure Lorenzo is comfortable with who he is. He becomes real close friends with Blu, daughter of hippy parents. She has been labelled as rebel and slut because of an infamous incident where she slept with her bf and three other friends of him. She gets called names in school, so she prefers to be by herself. And finally we have Antonio, a gorgeous young boy and basketball star but considered very stupid by most of his classmates. His brother died in an accident few years ago who used to be the poster child for his family and school both. So now Antonio, spends much of his time talking to the ghost of his brother. The three of them become really close and star taking fun revenge back on their classmates. All is fun and good till we realize that slowly both Blu and Lorenzo start liking Antonio. Since Lorenzo is co confident of himself, he goes ahead and kisses Antonio and that one incident just changes the equation between the three of them. Things get worse, although Lorenzo and Blu still occasionally hang out. Crazy things happen when hatred completely takes over. Antonio kills Lorenzo in a fit of anger and things will never be same again. Film ends with showing a scenario, if Antonio had reacted differently on the kiss that Lorenzo gave him; how things would have been much different and happier.

There are a lot of things that I liked about this film. The film has very interesting animations, songs and dancing; especially when Lorenzo goes into this zone where he ignores the real world and imagines living in this cool place. All the dance routines were pretty darn good. The story, though simple, is told in a very likeable manner. I liked the humour and for a change Lorenzo’s character was shown as a very strong character. He is gay but not apologetic and not afraid to get back to anyone who dares to point a finger at him. So refreshing and nice. Also, the storyline of Blu was quite important. How only a year later, she realizes that actually she was not being a slut but instead she was drugged and raped and all this while she had been blaming herself. Some of my favourite moments include when Lorenzo’s adopted parents argue with the school to let Lorenzo be himself. Hats off to those parents and wonderful writing of those characters. In fact, the acting throughout is quite raw & natural and this is the reason that its emotional impact is quite high.

It is a simple story of love, identity & friendship with a perfect balance of comedy, music and drama. (7.5/10)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Godless

A very taboo subject, whenever someone tackle sit, can be very easily met with extreme negative reactions. Although I personally may never endorse the feelings, but I do respect and am ready to give my view point to a film makers motivation on taking up a complicated subject and present it to their audience.

Shown us through Nate’s view point and through flashbacks, we are introduced to brothers Steven and Nate. Steven is a year older, and a medical student from out of town. Nate stays local and is a physical trainer in a local gym. Steven returns to town after their mother’s demise. We learn through flashbacks that their father is already dead. Steven stays back to comfort his brother Nate emotionally, who was very close to their mother. But soon enough more secrets are revealed and we find out that both Steven and Nate have been in a secret relationship with each other. Something that started as sexual experimentation in their pre teen years soon evolved in a very very strong love for each other, despite clearly understanding that it was wrong. Despite being atheist, they both fear that their parents might see their relationship with judgements. Anyway, it turns out when Steven moved out, the brothers decided that they both need to move on for everyone’s benefit. Steven has moved on and lives with his bf Ray now who also comes and stays with the brothers after the mother’s demise. Nate, on the other hand has been struggling so much to move on. He is not even ready to look at his co-worker at his gym who is madly in love with him. Steven struggles to keep his love for Nate while making him comfortable around his new boyfriend. He is conflicted between the two men and talks about how we are capable of loving more than one person at the same time. The boys get physical again after years, but Steven wants to continue his relationship with his now bf. The decision is final and Nate needs to move on. Maybe his gym colleague could be his new love of life.

I had very mixed feeling throughout watching the film. Firstly because the film was really really slow. I could have watched it on a fast forward mode and still would not have missed a thing. Secondly both the production quality and the acting abilities of the leads left a lot to be desired. Steven is lot better but Nate feels just like a whimping cry-baby. Always demanding and needs to be hold in arms. It feels like he is in depression forever and totally taken over by his obsession with Steve. Steve, on the other hand is more practical and rational. The other good thing is that the film never goes over the top. There is no grand melodrama. The scenes between the brothers are handled with sincerity and even the arguments are pretty normal but my gosh!! the pace; it really tests your patience. The maker seems to be more interested in creating an atmosphere but c’mmon , give the audience something more. I was shocked to see how bad the acting from the parents was. Actually besides Steve, the only other person who did a decent job was Nate’s gym co-worker. He seemed pretty normal and real. On the other hand, the guy who played Steve’s brother was plastic and wooden.

I know I have said lots of negatives about the film but I still give it an average rating because of subject and sincerity. Although slow, the film still left some sort of impression and made me think. I appreciate how Steve handled the entire situation and believed that we are capable of loving more than one person at the same time. (5/10)