There is no denying Queer films are often associated with bad cinematography, appalling acting and the promotion of gay stereotypes, Weekend however is not that kind of film. Weekend is so much more, driven by believable emotion and experiences, the film has an urgent message to share to both gay and straight audiences about the windows of opportunity that life provides. No matter what the viewer’s sexuality might be, they will relate to the drama in some form on a deep and personal level.
The premise is a one nighter that evolves into a weekend of a brief but beautiful love story filmed with a kind of real-time realism. There are parts of humour as well as parts of sadness. The romance is delicately portrayed with believable realism, while giving the sense that sexual experiences is not merely exciting for its own but, but at times it can be an adventure that can define one’s self.
We first see Russel as a gentle, thoughtful introverted gay guy in his 20s attending a party thrown by his straight friends with their children. He leaves early claiming to be tired, but instead stops off at a gay bar and meets Glen, who in many ways is the polar opposite of Russel. Glen is bold, outspoken and knowledgeable with his worldly experiences. The two have lessons to teach each other over a weekend that will forever change who they are as individuals.
The two go home together for what both assume to be literally just a one night experience, however the morning after conversation continues and the two are left to wonder if there might be a future that the two could possibly share. First there are decisions to be made most importantly what they want out of life, it is in this that the two discover they have very little time to make these decisions.
What separates Weekend from films such as Brokeback Mountain, is the lack of a sensationalistic event such as gay bashing or someone cheating, instead there is a strong focus on what is a far more sensational subject and that is how will Russel and Glen will work through their issues and find love, and will it be with each other?
Tom Cullen‘s and Chris New’s performances are convincing with a sense unselfconscious reality to them. What makes this movie so realistic is the fact that a lot of the time not a great deal is actually happening on screen. Russel and Glen hang out, drink, take drugs, have sex and simply just talk, the film is purely about human interaction between to people and their quest to find what they desire the most in life. It is because of the talented director Andrew Haigh, that what comes alive on screen is a completely character driven narrative and beautifully touching film.
My only disappointment with this film is because it has no big name stars like Heath Ledger of Jake Gyllenhaal it will risk not gaining the notoriety and success it deserves in mainstream cinema.
It is a must see film!
Check out the trailer below.