Awards Season Feature Post

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Aug 11, 2012

Review: Weekend (2011)

          Tom Cullen and Chris New.

                  Andrew Haigh.

                Weekend was one of those movies from last year that i ignored for much bigger and much Oscar-y movies even though it looked quite better than most of them. Weekend is one of those gems that even though with all of its shine and quality gets beaten out for being a much smaller film with no recognizable faces, no real cheesy gimmicky stuff and to have a topic like "Homosexuality" in it, God knows why straight men-women feel so threatened and insecure watching a movie like this? This is a much superior Romantic Drama than all of those we have seen for past many years, we didn't even had a solid romantic drama now that i think of it. The only one i can recall is Brokeback Mountain which ironically had two men falling in love just like Weekend. This movie tells story of Russell (Tom Cullen) he is shown drinking and partying with his foster family in their house. You can see that he doesn't really feel like himself when he is there, i mean they treat him the same as everyone else and one of his brother is really a good friend of his and Russell do share things with him. He feels a bit lost in that cheering crowd even though he loves them. After the party, we see him heading out to a gay club looking for some company. There he might be alone while surrounded by many strangers but that is where he feels fine and as himself. He meets Glen (Chris New) and both of them stares at each other for a while, the start talking and that encounter turns into a physical relation. But little did they know of how this weekend will become something more than they thought and that it will stay with them for the rest of their life.

               The thing is that their relations, the way it is shown is very believable and natural. They talk in a way normal people does or should i say normal people like them will do. You will see Russell and Glen talk about their past, the relationship they had or some laughable incidents they have had particularly regarding their sexuality. Both of them argue over how they think society sees people like them and how wrong or correct certain people are or they react regarding homosexuality. Glen is a very enthusiastic person, he is an artist and has his own unique vision and way to perceive everything. Kudos to Andrew Haigh for making this movie so bravely and precisely, he explores the themes avoiding all the cliches, gloss or exploitations to create this wonderful story of two men and their brief encounter with much more personal and wildly natural detailing. The movie doesn't necessarily wants you to get attached with the characters and let you get emotional over the end but the emotionally touching part is what they have rather than them. Their romantic relationship comes off as romantic and is bound to touch the hearts of all the romantic people no matter what sexual orientation. I love how the director doesn't make it overly schmaltzy movie with some over the top attributes just because his characters are gay and that it is something of a tabu or things from another planet. The way he presents it comes off in such a way that you somewhere in your heart want to see them with each other forever, you cheer for them even though you see whats coming for them or what this encounter is going to be.

                Both Tom Cullen and Chris New gave brilliant performances and its very surprising for them to act in such a way considering its their debut as an actor. And what a debut, the material they get to act for the first time in a feature length movie is nothing less than a work of a genius with artistic control. Both of them really acts well in their character and you can easily see the shift of emotions, expressions and actions in their performance as the movie progresses. The ending of the movie is a bittersweet one that might leave you in a state of awe if not completely wrecked. Their relation or should i say the encounter was meant to be that way. It is a small movie that most of you might haven't even seen yet but you should because it is a rare movie.

Grade: A-