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.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

J'en suis! (French) [Heads or Tails]

Thank god for a nice funny film. Full of stereotypes and cliches, this hilarious satire pokes fun at both straight and gay attitudes and communities. The concept of a straight man pretending to be gay is not new and I at least have seen a few films in this subject but this was still quite funny. Sure it may be not a gem or a genius film but it does keep you entertained with a constant smile on your face and for me a viewer that does matter quite a bit.

Dominique and Pierre have been best friends and business partners. But when they go bankrupt, Dominique doesn't have the courage to tell his wit and kids and pretends to continue to live a lavish life. He also doesn't want to do any menial job. He has a keen eye for antiques. When he goes to sell of his own antique pieces, he gets hired to be the antique guy's partner. But this offer is made under the assumption that Dominique is gay an due goes ahead with it because the money is good. When he starts dressing gay, his wife becomes a little suspicious but never thinks much. When a boyfriend is needed, Pierre comes in handy and they act as a couple. When Dominique's wife sees them together on TV, she is appalled and doesn't know what to do. On the contrast, his mother is super excited to see him finally come out of the closet. A lot of funny scenes and situations follow. Ultimately, Dominique can't bear it anymore and comes clean to his partner who is very disturbed and asks him to leave job. But sense prevails and he comes back when he realizes how good Dominique is at his work and how he deserves every bit of it.

The film is a light heart comedy and no one should take it seriously. Pierre's and Dominique's scenes together are a laugh riot. The comfort and relationship that they share as 2 straight males is definitely very pleasing and same can be seen when they act as a gay couple. It also gets funny when Dominique starts questioning his own sexuality. Dominique's mother getting excited to know that her son is gay is the best. lol. The confrontation with his wife when she learns of his "alternate lifestyle" is priceless. The whole story with Dominique's employer and his boyfriend is also quite interesting. Thankfully the film never insults any minority group, and it succeeds exceedingly. This film is pure satire but it works really well. The 2 lead actors loo good and do a brilliant job in acting. Thankfully the humour is not cultural specific and anyone can easily understand it.

Strongly recommend the film. Its charming, its funny, its saucy and full of cliches. I loved it. It was pure entertainment. (7/10)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

L'homme blessé (French) [The Wounded Man]

All the time I was watching his film, I kept thinking "What is going on?" and you know how that is never a good sign. Expectation that this film will son start making sense,just always go downhill. Not much dialogue and only actions makes watching this film very boring and hard. I wonder if this has anything to do with not having context of homosexuality life in France in 1980's. I doubt because that should be no reason to not understand the context of a film.

A young man named Henri goes to the railway station with his parents to bid farewell to his sister, who is leaving on a vacation. The train is late, Henri has time to linger, and on a trip to the men's room he discovers that he has great passionate interest in men. One man in particular, Jean, a thug who implicates Henri in a robbery and then gives him a violent kiss, becomes for Henri a figure of enduring erotic fascination. Henri comes out of his shell that she starts getting obsessed with Jean. After a bit of gamesmanship, Jean takes Henri home, where Jean's girlfriend Elisabeth also lives. And then mutual mischief sets in. Jean sets a trap for Henri, who falls in. There is an older guy who is always after Henri and he then takes him to his home where Jean is also there and there is some hot-action there. I am not very sure of the time lapse  but its never clear. The old man ultimately takes Henri to this desolated place where Jean is sleeping. By then, the lust and passion and longing for Jean has built up so much in Henri that he takes drastic steps in the end of the film.

As I mentioned, I was quite confused most of the times as to whats actually going on. Who is the old man. Sure he fancies younger blokes but what is it that makes him want to help Henri all the time. What does he know about Jean. Does Jean have  medical problem or emotional issue? Why is Henri going all crazy over Jean. Why is Jean playing games with Henri, when he keeps saying that he doesn't want Henri to do anything. My list of questions will not end. Why is Henri always wearing dirty clothes. Why does he spend so much time in rushing and running form one place to another only to stop and look about ... left, right, left, right. This action of his would happen every single time and it started to bother me so much after a while. Jean has a comfortable life style at home, then why is he so attracted to the street life with hustlers. Shame, my questions will never be answered :(

In short, this film was just not meant for me. Portrayal of the turmoil of a young man wanting to escape from his boring socially acceptable family life while feeling disturbed and offended by the alternative world to which his emotions are driving him. Yawn! (2.5/10)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Gay Short Films : 24

Boris and Nadir (France)
A 9 episode, each of 60 to 90 seconds, promoting public awareness advertisements for prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. THis is one of the best things I have seen in recent times. How in such a sweet fun and easy way you can educate people on just use of condoms but only on post HIV positive status and how life doesn't end. Best thing is that actors are real porn stars. Fantastic!!. (8/10)

Love Ain't Magick (USA)
Athiest Will and his partner Om, a hippie, who loves to change his names, have their share of couple problems. But when their daughter comes home engaged to a guy who’s parents are extremely Christian, the two men bond together to make it work for her to meet the in-laws and funny secrets are revealed. Funny premise but such terrible bad acting. A good movie to watch and learn ho wont to act and how not to direct. (3.5/10)

They Say (USA)
We see an odd friendship between the most unwanted girl in the school and the boy who is always bullied. We hear various girls and boys talk about their daily lives and how it is vastly different from either of the two friends. When the girl spills the boy's secret hoping to make friends, the boy is bullied even worse and is force to move towns when he kisses a boy. Not everything that happens on a school playground is play. (6/10)

Praner Manush (India)
Chaitak and his mother deal with their soon-to-strike tragedy as he wants to confess to his mother every little thing about himself within the little time he has. He also gets confronted by his past during the same period of time when his boyfriend meets him. Very very novel and good concept but not such a good execution. (4/10)

With This Ring (USA)
All marriages have their share of problems, and this film takes a dark look at gay marriage gone bad. A young man brings home a sexy stranger and realizes the spark they are feeling in bed might be something special. As the night progresses the young man begins to think that there may be more to this encounter than he had thought. With right to marriage also comes right to divorce, which in turns comes with unexpected consequences. (7/10)

Is it a sin? (Germany)
Its the story of 3 friends who have been together since childhood in a small country village. Hanna, Magdalena & Samuel. Samuel is in a relationship with Robin but doesn't have the courage to tell his friends. When Magdalena finds out, she gets very disappointed in him saying horrible things to him. While Hanna is supportive, Samuel decides to end his life when he gets message from Hanna about "It Gets Better" project and that life for Samuel will be better soon. Decent film. Samuel was sooooooo obviously gay, why would anyone think otherwise? (5.5/10)

Believe The Dance (Norway)
This is NOT a gay short. Four different souls are stuck in their daily mundane job. They all get hit at the same time by the dance 'God' in a life-altering experience. I personally did not like the short film at all. It was odd, pretentious and quite boring and meaningless. (2/10)

A Star-Crossed Love (USA)
"Star-crossed lovers" is a phrase describing a pair of lovers whose relationship is often thwarted by outside forces. A gay version of Romeo -Juliet shown between 2 teenager boys. When one of the boy's friends find out, they beat up the other kid, forcing the 2 boys to individually commit suicide if they can't be with each other. Ironically, its the friends of the boy who attends theatre who have an issue with him being gay, whereas, the jock guy's friends are all cool about it. Very decent film. (7/10)

Roerloze Ontploffingen (Belgium)
The film is overall divided in theme of homosexuality with 3 separate stories, all with some sentimental value. First one about a woman falling for a married woman, the second one about a guy in the bar really longing for a man, who doesn't have the courage to accept himself and third and final about a gay teenager who is bullied in school. A very iterating way of direction and The camera work gives the viewer a feeling of how confined the character must feel. Quite decent. (7/10)

Miles Apart (USA)
Such a warm film inside and out, this film shows that compassion and transformation are possible. Jeffery and Miles are visiting Jefferey's mother's house for his sisters wedding. Despite the boys having been together for 5 years, the mother hasn't accepted Miles. This weekend things are set to change and like they say "never say never". Not the best production quality but the film positively portrays love, commitment and a very uplifting message. (8/10)

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Pakistan's Hidden Shame (Documentary)

This documentary has been one of the hardest documentaries to watch. I haven't seen stuff like this before; so hard-hitting, absolutely raw, in your face about this social evil for which we wish we could do something about. This documentary focuses on the north-western city of Peshawar, where it is estimated that nine out of ten street children have been sexually abused, mostly young boys.

Pakistan is one of the world's most important Muslim nations. It's a nuclear power, it's allied to the West in the war against terror, and it's a democracy. But Pakistan is also a country in denial, turning a blind eye to the sexual exploitation of many thousands of poor and vulnerable children.. The 47-minute documentary depicts an unending cycle of stolen childhood, drug addiction and poverty. The scale of the problem is brought to light through a series of shocking confessions and accounts by both victims and perpetrators of child abuse. Bus conductor Ejaz confesses to raping on buses “about 11 or 12 kids” aged between eight and 10. The film discloses some of the bus stations and truck stops where men prey on young boys in the north-western city of Peshawar, revealing that “95% of truck drivers admitted that having sex with boys was their favourite entertainment.” The documentary focuses on the story of 13-year-old Na’eem, to highlight the grim reality of how the victim can become the perpetrator if help and support are not provided in time.

This documentary apparently hasn't been aired in Pakistan yet. So it remains to be seen whether a growing international audience is enough to challenge the country’s unspoken taboo and denial of the issues raised. For the time being, Pakistan’s shame remains hidden.

As I mentioned it is difficult watch bit this documentary needs to be seen and people need to be educated about this social evil. (7.5/10)

Love's Coming (Thai)

These days sexual ambiguity is the biggest trend in Thai films right now. This film, directed by a newcomer is a very light-hearted comedy-ish film that focuses on school going kids. Thai films so far for me have been a mixed bag, so I wasn't expecting much form this film and I think that worked in its favor. For some pople, it will seem a bit amateurish but then when you see the film from that perspective, you will be ok. This is not breaking any new grounds. The idea is to make people laugh.

There is a close knit group of 4 school going boys. Gump, Pid, Arm and Zee. They have just finished their exams and wanna hang out but Gump bows out saying that he has to teach his neighbor Nai. Nai is a very popular and handsome guy who is quite popular with pretty much everyone. This makes Zee convinced that Gump is hiding something and that he is probably gay. The remaining three friends take help of one of their gay uncles to to figure out the truth. They try many techniques and finally they all decide to go to a camping trip. Talks begin on how do Gump and Nai know each other. The film goes in flashback, where we see how Nai's mother asks Gump's mother to help Gump teach Nai to he can pass in exams. The 2 boys start spending a lot of time together and their is a mutual admiration for each other. They both have feelings but neither of them has acted on it. In this camping trip, Gump and Nai share a tent and they cuddle and sleep and exchange a quick kiss. There are some hiccups when Nai's ex-girl-friend shows up but it turns out it was Zee's plan so that both Gump and Nai could accept their feelings for each other.

The two things that stood out for me were the supportive mother and the supportive friends. As much as the trip was desperate to find out if Gump is gay, they never made fun of him for it. They tell him that they are still his friends and fully supportive. Similarly, when Gump's mother see how happy Gump is every time he returns from Nai's home, she says that she will be very happy if Gump is happy. Acting from all actors is same and childish, which some how works for the film given the premise and the target audience. All of them have exceptionally great fit bodies, so yes there is a lot of eye-candy for you all. The whole sequence of camping and flash-back was way too long and thats when I started losing my attention on the film. I think the film can use a tighter editing and shorten the duration to not more than 80-85 minutes. That can definitely help the film.

Its strictly a time pass movie for people who do not mind some brainless amateurish entertainment. (5/10)

Friday, September 5, 2014

Ma vie en rose (French) [My Life In Pink]

This was such a breath of fresh air. Although the film is over 15 years old, it is probably as relevant as today. I have been watching more and more cinema on gender identity issues and they have all been very interesting and eye-opening for me personally to understand the people better. Th film is comic yet heartbreaking and the subject is very sensitively handled by the director.

Seven-year old Ludovic lives in an upper-middle class Belgian suburban neighborhood. He behaves in a way that is quite natural to him, dresses in a dress or skirt whenever possible, and is quite convinced he will be marrying a neighborhood boy, Jerome, the son of his father's boss. He knows a boy doesn't marry a boy , so he will marry Jerome when he becomes a girl. The rest of the family humor him as best they can, rationalizing that Ludovic is only trying to find his identity and will be over it soon. While playing a game Ludovic and Jerome are caught while pretending to marry which is seen by Jerome's mother. The situation worsens when Ludovic stands in a Snowwhite for a school play. The parents of other kids file a petition to have him expelled. Ludovic's parents are so far very supportive and understanding and take him to a psychologist regularly. Ludovic's father gets fired after he shows up in a skirt to a party. Suddenly the all supportive mother starts blaming the young Ludovic for everything. She wants to set Ludo straight so she cuts his hair to make him look like his brothers. Ludo hates his mother for doing this and wants to live with his grandmother. The family later moves to a new town, where Ludovic befriends Chris, a girl who wishes to function as a male. The parents slowly start coming around in the new neighborhood.

Ludovic's parents confront the problem of their son's sexual identity with a minimum of hysterics, which is not to say that each of them don't go ballistic at least once. But even at moments of maximum stress, they never stop loving their self-proclaimed ''boygirl,'who thinks that God just misplaced one of his chromosomes as explained by his sister, and he will soon be a girl. The fantasy element of "Pam", a "Barbie-Doll-like" fictional character, serves as an escape for Ludovic and somehow its well in the whole storyline. My favorite thing about the movie is that it is neither over the top or unnecessarily melodramatic. I wonder how many parents would actually be so loving and supporting even in worst times like the way Ludovics parents were shown. Even the siblings were pretty normal in the sense they didn't bully or overtly support Ludovic. They are all kids after all and trying to figure out a lot of things themselves. The film captures well the sense of confusion and panic that can occur to any child when the sense of a warm, safe family environment is suddenly punctured when it bumps up against social expectations.

This film accurately portrays the struggles that hundreds of youth face today. Youth that are struggling to discover their identities, having to deal with family and friends that tease and taunt them for being "different". (7/10)