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, June 27, 2020

Label Me

This is a very moody and broody film that makes you wonder and think. We have seen a few films with gay hustlers trying to make ends meet and eventually looking for companionship. The film is similar but with its differences. This is strictly a transactional exchange but somewhere both parties are involved are maybe looking for something more (not necessarily love). Also interesting to note that this whole German film is in English.

Young and rich German guy Lars meets Waseem on a hookup app on a railway platform and takes him home. Waseem's rules are clear. No kissing and he will only fuck. They have a good time, with barely any exchange of words. Afterwards, Waseem goes home to a communal Syrian refugee shelter where he has to share a communal shower and deal with bunkbed roommates. Lars is intrigues enough with Waseem to want to meet him again. When Waseem responds to Lars' curiosity about him with chilly silence, the German playfully extends the transactional nature of their relationship by paying him 20 Euros for every question he answers. on one such encounter when Lars has to leave midway , he leaves Waseem back at his place. This time Waseem thinks of stealing his goods. But when the German returns home hours later, Waseem casually informs him he changed his mind: "You're lucky. It takes me more effort to sell it than fucking you." The two men are getting to know one another and this is when the first time they even ask each other their names. Waseem says he is not gay but truth maybe more complicated because of his culture and social norms and the fact that a supposedly gay guy gets beaten up badly in that shelter. When one night Waseem gives into urges and kisses Lars, he freaks out and start blurting slurs to Lars. Confused with what's going on with him, he even lets an older client of his to fuck him. In the last scene, Waseem shows up at Lars badly beaten up and just goes and lies down in bed. I guess his secret is out and now they both are contemplating where life will take them next.

The best thing about the film is that it is not over dramatized at any point. We never know what lars does, how does he have so much money and why he doesn't have any friends, but that provides a good intersection and similarity that possibly the 2 men share. They are both lonely and their respective homes couldn't have been more different from each other. Their casual meetings soon bring in trust between the two men and they are trying to understand each other. Clearly Waseem has bigger demons inside, possibly struggling with sexuality, having to leave Syria, trying to make ends meet; there is a lot more inside than you see. This made me wonder, how we always judge people by their appearances or by what they do; but rarely does anyone try to understand why someone does what they do. We don't know for sure whether Waseem harbors any sexual feelings for Lars. But what matters is whether or not he can accept Lar's friendship and a means of escape from his trauma. The power dynamic between the two men keeps shifting throughout, neither altogether willing to surrender control although they both want the closeness that could make room for. The performances from both the leads are absolutely fantastic and very restrained that adds to the sense of mystery as both men keep their secrets. With just under one hour of running time, this film is set in certain pace and gives you an opportunity to get into their heads.

A beautifully acted and superbly directed wonderful film. The film never goes into addressing the problems that refugees go through but I guess that was never the intent. (7.5/10)

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