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Weekend

by

Jeff Nelson

Weekend is a beautifully rendered film that comes very highly recommended.

Weekend
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I have never seen the issue of 'gay cinema' being discussed by moviegoers. People call it gay cinema, but isn't it just any other film but the character(s) just happen to be gay? Well, if I was to give my opinion on the 'gay cinema' that I've seen, it's very disappointing. These films generally end up attracting horrible filmmakers, bad actors, and very poorly written screenplays. The filmmakers who make a lot of these movies often believe that throwing in a lot of sexuality will make a good movie. Of course there are exceptions to this, but a lot of them are that way. It's rare to not hear about this type of flick and not have somebody mention Brokeback Mountain. I must be one of the few viewers who didn't find that movie to be that good. It would be great if people would stop comparing every film that has homosexuals in it to Brokeback Mountain. How about instead of calling it 'gay cinema,' calling it by the actual genre it falls under? Well, in Weekend's case it's a drama/romance and truly breaks the mold.

After a drunken house party with his friends, Russell heads out to a gay club. As the closing time is approaching, he picks up Glen. What started as a one-night stand becomes something else, something special. What Weekend depends on is its ability to draw a connection between the viewer and the characters as well as making that viewer believe in the story and the relationship between Russell and Glen. Well, the screenplay certainly accomplishes just that. The film takes its sweet time in order for us to get to know Russell in the beginning of the feature. As time goes on, the audience gets to know Glen from Russell's perspective. By the end of the movie, I felt like I knew the characters pretty well and genuinely liked and cared what happened to both characters. The two roles are completely different, but opposites tend to attract quite often in movies. Russell is a quiet and sensitive man who doesn't have much self-esteem and isn't really comfortable with his sexuality. However, Glen is very bold, confident, and is very confident in being gay. The dialogue is very well-written. There are many points delivered by both Russell and Glen about the gay community and how society stereotypes and puts that whole community down. For those who feel uncomfortable about explicit dialogue about gay sex, which is actually one of the points made by Glen that society believes it isn't so bad when a man and a woman speak about sex but people are offended when somebody speaks of two men or two women's sex lives, should probably avoid this. One of the largest strengths of Weekend is that the movie is so frank and the dialogue exchanges between characters are so witty and well-crafted. There's even some humor scattered throughout the movie, which is placed very well. By the end of the movie, you're sure to feel completely attached to both Russell and Glen. There's a lot of character development here and while it shows the way society treats homosexuals, it never becomes preachy. This is an example of a beautifully crafted screenplay that's sure to grasp your attention and not let it go until the credits are rolling.

There actually isn't very much of a supporting cast. However, this aids the movie in focusing upon these two characters and not getting distracted with any unnecessary subplots. Tom Cullen, playing Russell, and Chris New, performing as Glen, are the two actors primarily owning the screen. With a screenplay so wonderful, it would be a disappointment if the acting didn't stand up to its quality. Fortunately, we have two beautifully rendered performances by Cullen and New. Neither actors have done very much in the industry, but these representations would lead you to believe otherwise. They're both outstanding on screen. The chemistry that's displayed on screen between the two feels so real that it feels like you're watching real events unfolding and not a movie. Both New and Cullen master their roles, as they most certainly have a clear understanding of the characters. There are multiple scenes that have such raw energy, which has been created by these two actors. With the combination of the screenplay and the acting, this took me by surprise.

Fortunately, Weekend breaks the pathetic mold that so many of these movies have fallen victim to. Instead, this is a very nice surprise that has a lot of charm and is extremely touching. The film displays two young men falling in love over the course of 48 hours and it's executed to near perfection. The screenplay is extremely well-written and the acting is powerful. I'm hoping that this opens the eyes of more moviegoers, filmmakers, and movie studios able to openly create a love story between two men or two women and perhaps even transform the views that society holds homosexuals to. This film is truly a treat from start to finish. Weekend is a beautifully rendered film that comes very highly recommended.

My Rating = Four and One Half Stars

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