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.

Monday, November 30, 2015

En la Gama de los Grises (Spanish) [In The Grayscale]

An interesting film that subconsciously debates love between two men; one a gay man for whom homosexuality is a black-or-white concept and the other who is not ready to choose a side because he needs to figure out the impact on not just him but people around him as well. I have been part of many conversations where gay men question the whole concept of ‘bisexuality and this film does a very interesting t make on the whole theme. Its a thoughtful, beautifully acted and nuanced film that makes you think.

Bruno, architect by profession, has recently moved out of his home, leaving behind his wife and son. They are not separated. He just needs time alone to think and figure out what he wants to do with his life. He is hired by city commissioner to design a new monument in Santiago that would mean something to the city. The commissioner also introduces him to Fer, a free spirited tour guide who knows the city inside out so that Bruno can make a more informed decision. Fed is young, fun, energetic, good looking and a happy man while Bruno is going through his internal struggles about life, work, family etc. Fed thinks of Bruno as a closeted gay and tries to flirt with him. Over the course of time Bruno finds himself getting attracted to Fer as well, and doesn’t know what to do. He is happy when he is with him but what does that mean? Ambiguity, regret and confusion soon pops up. Bruno realises that he has been meeting Fer for 3 months now and hasn’t started any real work. Meanwhile word comes out that Bruno was seen kissing another man which doesn’t go too well with his wife and son. This makes Bruno question even more on what he is doing. The movie ends with unanswered question for us on what will happen but what does happen is that Bruno finds an idea on what he wants to make the monument about.

As the title suggests, this film explores those difficult shades of gray of somebody trying to overcome their longstanding sexual repression. Or is it really that? Why can’t this be a whole new feeling, maybe? You empathise with Bruno but you also feel for Fer. fed has honesty and integrity and knows exactly what he wants from their relationship, so it feels he is cheated when Bruno can’t take a decision despite the fact that he clearly loves him. Thankfully , the film doesn’t go overdramatic when the wife and son find out. You see mature conversations happening and a glimpse into one of the secrets of their married life. The intimate moments between the two men are real, very real. Their hanging out, sleeping , coffee, breakfast, smoking; just about everything feels natural and real. The chemistry between the two men is good and you witness the journey of how and when they  move from guide to friends to lovers to estranged lovers. They have a very intelligent and an intuitive sense of physical connection. Did I mention that they are both quite hot and good-looking as well. Interestingly the surroundings of the 2 guys also give a depiction of how one is happy vs how the other is lonely and isolated. Yeah, we do see bits of history of Chile in the process as well , but it didn’t mean much to me as an outsider.

Definitely recommend this one. It may seem like an old story but treatment and direction is quite different. You relate to the characters and you understand why Bruno can’t take the decision which is expected of him. (7.5/10)

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)