Johny, a young lad, lives on the farm in Northern Yorkshire. He is helping his ailing father Martin at the farm, while occasionally getting drunk. There is a huge communication gap between father and son. Johny is also having random sex with strangers. When Martin get’s super frustrated , he hires help for lambing season. Enter Gheorghe, a Romanian migrant worker, to whom Johny is initially very standoffish. Gheorghe is good with animals and with work. He is also handsome, confident & friendly; something that annoys both Martin and Johny. The two lads need to go work with lambs and fix a remote part of farm. We witness 2 scenes of lamb birth, very carefully yet confidently handled by Gheorghe, while Johny is still indifferent; thats cos he is beaten up with life. A sincere fight one day, leads to mud wrestling and a quick sex session. When Johny wants it again, it’s Gheorghe, who introduces him to the pleasures of pleasures of intimacy, his life-giving hands caressing Johnny’s face and pulling him in for a kiss. Finally Johny starts smiling and opening up to Gheorghe. When they return from hilly escape, Martin has another stroke, which weighs down on Johny with reality of what his life and responsibilities are going to be. This is when Gheorghe takes good care of Johny and continues showing him love and helping hand at farm. But Johny is still not ready for it and goes back to old ways of random sex which pisses of Gheorghe and he leaves. Johny soon realizes that he is in fact in love and he will have to give himself to reality and love and somehow win back Gheorghe is life and so he does.
God’s Own Country is not a movie about coming out and the collateral damage that ensues. It’s a universal tale about giving yourself over to love, even when you seem hopelessly broken. The pain and agony and loneliness that you see in Johny is real. You sense it and you feel it. Its a brilliant performance of a guy stuck in a farm life, is gay, not very sure of how to go with his life while continuing with family responsibilities. Gheorghe is so handsome, and confident that he stirs up Johny’s life completely and you can feel it. He is not afraid to be who he really is. And needless to say that he is a brilliant actor. The chemistry that the two share and the entire sequence in the remote hills for few days keeps your attention. The way the two men come together is awesome. Tough and tender brought together and ultimately , by the end of the film, getting along like a house on fire. The film is real, very real. Its not for everyone, when you see scenes of lamb birth, killing a baby calf, daily mundane farm chores; but all that is needed to understand and relate to the loneliness of Johny. You need to feel why he is, the way he is. And hence, when you see his gradual transformation from arrogant, I-don’t-give-a-damn attitude young man, to a sensitive young adult who needs and yearns for love, your heart goes out for him. All the scenes in this regard are handled with extreme sensitivity. The actors playing the father and grandmother are absolutely terrific. They have the look of being beaten down by the farm life and have no spark left in them.
Getting back to the comparison’s with Brokeback Mountain, yes, they will stay there, but I am happy with a few things in this film. Firstly, it is set in present time and comes with a happier ending. Secondly, when the boys come together, they never fear the possibility of exposure or what society would think, they are more worried about would they be able to make it work; which is a huge development. All said and done, this is a pretty exceptional film; a solid story about how committing to what you believe in requires finding out what you believe in first. Life may be harsh and unforgiving, love doesn't have to be. Highly recommended. (9/10)