I insisted that a straight friend of mine watch this film and he finally did. He came back from it and said that he didn’t realize what had happened, had had no idea. And he said something that has stuck with me: For gay men, it must have been like the apocalypse. That’s exactly right.
This 80s-era oddball gay-themed movie from Australia left me bemused.
A beautiful look and a keenly felt sense of time and place plus one moving lead performance can’t cover up the contrivance of the central romance.
This gay-themed, London-based debut feature from Sally El Hosaini is worth a look for its cultural insights and sensitivity, as well as great performances, but the gay relationship seems forced.
It wasn’t until about a half hour in that I realized that I’d tried to watch this film before. It wasn’t any easier to stick around this time than it had been the first, but I did skip forward to see what happened — I watched the last scene so I now know the origin of the title — and to try to figure out why I found it all so boring.
The handsome look of this film shot widescreen in Cuba on 35mm made it easy to feel immersed in its depiction of love, attachment, and youthful aspirations. The attractiveness and natural acting of the three amateur leads doesn’t hurt. But the plot is stretched too thin, and melodrama and fatalism eventually upend the film’s energy and the empathy generated by the characters and their desires.