In "Weekend," a beautifully acted and written indie drama from writer/director (and editor) Andrew Haigh, two gay men fall heavily for each other over the course of a 2 or 3 day period, each getting at something in the other that no one before had managed to do. But this is not a "gay" movie, and people who stay away from it because they think it has a gay agenda, or that it has nothing to say to them, or who are simply uncomfortable with the sight of two men having sex, will deny themselves the pleasure of seeing a film with a universal message about what it's like to be lonely and the search for meaningful human connections that kind of loneliness motivates.
It's not that Haigh avoids addressing the complications of being gay in the present day. Part of what I admired about the film was that it put being gay, and the constant energy it takes on the part of gay men to either fight or ignore the ignorance and hostility they must constantly endure, in a context that anybody can understand. The film's central character, Russell (Tom Cullen), has been raised as a foster child in a "straight" environment. His foster brother knows he's gay and is accepting of it, but even at that, Russell's time with his brother and his brother's family only accentuates the desolate fact that the kind of "normal" happiness his brother enjoys (the solidarity of a strong marriage, children) is something that at best he will have to fight for or at worst will be denied altogether. The bitterness this harsh reality can create in gay men is illustrated in the character of Glen (Chris New), a crusader who believes happiness in marriage is a sham perpetrated by the straight community and that attempts at finding contentment and satisfaction in a life partner are akin to tilting at windmills.
Cullen and New deliver award-worthy performances, so it's a shame that this film's size and subject matter will deny it any kind of major awards attention. The film is actually breathtaking at moments, albeit in an unassuming way, in its frankness and its ability to capture perfectly in words ideas about the way our societies treat relationships, commitments and love that I had only half articulated to myself. It would be easy to believe that Haigh found two non-actors roaming the streets, asked them to star in a movie, gave them situations to play out without a script, and filmed the results. It's that authentic.
I hope people see this movie.
Drama / Romance
Drama / Romance
On a Friday night after a drunken house party with his straight mates, Russell heads out to a gay club, alone and on the pull. Just before closing time he picks up Glen but what's expected to be just a one-night stand becomes something else, something special. That weekend, in bars and in bedrooms, getting drunk and taking drugs, telling stories and having sex, the two men get to know each other. It is a brief encounter that will resonate throughout their lives. Weekend is both an honest and unapologetic love story between two guys and a film about the universal struggle for an authentic life in all its forms. It is about the search for identity and the importance of making a passionate commitment to your life.
Uploaded By: Gaz
Downloaded 37,481 times
September 20, 2012 at 3:02 am