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, January 28, 2018

God's Own Country (UK)

First viewing of the film, and like me, you will try to draw comparisons with the legendary Brokeback Mountain, and I don’t mean in a bad way. There are many instances that will make you think of the aforementioned film, especially in a couple of scenes, which could as well be a direct homage to the director Ang Lee. The director crafts a love story that is raw, real, sexy, difficult to watch and very heartfelt that you can feel connected to, even though you have no idea of the farm world. The biggest win of the film is the nature. Its the true hero and our protagonists just fit in to the environment.

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)

5 comments:

Luigi C said...

So a nice film , so a nice happy ending that send me straight to the top.
The homage to Ang Lee from Francis is even when Gheorgiu wash himself in the open air ( You can see Heat and Jack )!
Very sexy , mature and ,You are right , real . The rough farmer twists slowly to a tender lover . Can I say the best movie of the season ?

Golu said...

Not sure of the best for the season, since I feel I am so much behind catching up, but its very much high up there. Its brilliant.

Michaelcosm said...

Nice! It was just released on iTunes (US) today, and I pre-ordered it based purely on the trailer (so much pretty going on...the cinematography, the landscape, the actors). It occurred to me this morning to come here and see if it passed the Golu test. I foresee a popcorn night.

Golu said...

Thats awesome man. Enjoy a wonderful movie night and post back your views here :)

Sailor Maan said...

Very very nice movie. However maybe it took me too much time to really feel for Johny to completely appreciate the movie. He was so much of an as*** in the beginning, I really had trouble getting empathy for him for a long time, even considering his terrible environment. So I couldn't understand why Georgiu would try to help and love him at first (especially when treated like that and suposedly not staying here for a long time). Thankfully the second half and the ending made it fantastic. Not just the happy ending (would it have been just Georgiu accepting to come back I think I wouldn't have liked it that much), but also Johny realizing he doesn't want to be a bastard anymore. He does have changed for the better, and that's why Georgiu gives in.