Skip to main content

Greta (Portuguese)

Greta is a very interesting film in more than one way.  The film gives us a very compassionate view on people willing to try be in love against all odds - their own convictions notwithstanding. Looking at marginalization through several lenses; including age, sexuality, gender and criminal life; this is a thematically ambitious but narratively very intimate and compassionate story of human relationships.

Gay nurse Pedro is way past his retirement age but still goes to hospital everyday and takes pleasure in taking care of others. One night, his trans friend Daniela, who suffers form kidney failure, needs emergency bed in the hospital. But since doctors wont allow her in female ward , she doesn't want to go in the men's ward, which is the only place with some vacancy. So when a bloodied stranger is brought in at the hospital under suspicious circumstances, the supposedly morally upright Pedro helps to smuggle out the man who might be a criminal on the run from either a gang or the police. As a result, Daniela can take his bed in the men’s ward (under effect of sleeping pill). The only problem is that the man in question, who calls himself Jean, still needs looking after, so Pedro takes him home with him, not knowing his story. Since Jean ha son where to go, or whether he generally appreciates Pedro's gesture, an interesting sexual and interdependent relationship between the two men starts, which is what the main theme of the film is. Pedro is a diehard admirer of Greta Garbo's well-worn solitude motto ("I want to be alone"), and brave enough to enforce this to his own life, which seems to include - apart from his friendship with Daniela and casual sexual, club encounters- no deep concern about old people and forgotten movie stars.  So even when Pedro has sex, he wants Jean to call him Greta. While Jean is using sexual favor as a means to continue to stay with Pedro trying to avoid cops, a shock revelation comes when Jean decides to move out after a few weeks with his ex-female partner.

Pedro, Daniela and Jean aren’t easily categorizable archetypes with clean-cut, predictable stories of coming to find their places within their society. The realistic aging of older queer bodies, as well as the realistic awkwardness that comes with sex is on full, unsanitized display. As mentioned before, the film engages in depiction of marginalization whether they be gender, class, sexuality, or place in the criminal system. So this gives credibility to Pedro’s willingness to be so open with a man wanted for such a violent crime. For most of the film, the director is not interested to explore the fears or the suspense of a relationship between an old gay and a murder suspect. You sort of know why and what this is happening since Pedro is lonely and is finally getting affection from younger man in terms of sexual pleasure, Jean is doing this to keep a roof over his head. It’s difficult to tell who is the captor and who is captive in many instances. He is not in love but as later tells Pedro that he has been the best friend he has had. Greta takes action in present time, and no big family secrets are to be unveiled. This is a story of perseverance, mostly for Pedro, who in the end decides to come up with an alter ego of trans Daniela; which to be honest I am not very sure of the ending. Was that an attempt from Pedro for Jean to show that he can be as much of a woman? Maybe! The film was slow but still I was engaged very much into seeing where will all this eventually lead to. But I am slightly disappointed by the last 10 minutes of hastily wrapping things. The films characters are isolated in their own way, a stark reality of our community, but the necessity of not being “let alone” is what propels their journeys towards one another. (6.5/10)


Popular posts from this blog

The Shortest Distance is Round 3: Fallen Flowers

Continuing with the weird trilogy of "The Shortest Distance", I am so glad that finally I am done with part 3 and won't have to deal with this again in future. Thankfully, as of now the makers have not announced any further parts; which will save all of us on this earth from the embarrassment of watching this in near future. After the first 10 minutes are used in sort of recapping bits of first two parts, the story moves forward. Haruto is now starting to have feelings for Ruka, the mysterious pole dancer from second part. In a fit of rage, Ruka ends up killing the goat man and to save him and Haruto, Shibahara asks them to go underground. Meanwhile Shibahara continues the search for Seiya (the guy who had cut off Haruto's penis). It turns out Seiya is now also taking care of the original club owner from part 1. Both of them were released after they had informed Shibahara of Aoyama's secret location. Shibahara tortures Seiya's boyfriend leading to Seiya killin

Sei no Gekiyaku (Japanese) [Dangerous Drugs of Sex]

Every person has their own unique way of dealing with loss. This film is as much a psychological thriller as it is a soft porn BDSM portrayal of two young men that makes the film overall horrifying as well as humane. It is really hard to describe the genre of this film in one word. Its important not that the film has some really disturbing scenes so if you go into seeing this film, please proceed with caution. Although any sexual non-consensual activity is not ok, this film has its won strange way of showing that suicide is not the only solution to all life's problems. Makoto is a regular office goer, who just finds out that his girlfriend is probably cheating on him. ON top of it, his parents sudden death coming back from a trip that he forced them to take, he gets completely dejected and decides to commit suicide. Unknown to him, he is saved by mysterious man Yoda Ryoji, and he wakes up finding himself tied up in leather and belts in a very BDSM setting. This mysterious saver soo

One Summer Night (Korean)

I really wanted to like this film but for non native speakers, these movie leaves a lot to be understood and the way scenes were unfolding in front of me, I wasn't sure many times what was really going on. The story had potential button getting any back story on any of the characters limited my ability to empathize with any of these actors. Film starts with two North Korea military guys Yong Joon and Jae Sung having sex and they are caught red handed and they run. Three years later we see Yong Joon in Seoul leading a very mundane and poor life. He has a boyfriend Tae-Kyu, who is a weird guy. He is carefree, doesn't do any work and is completely emotional and financially dependent on Young Joon. In fact, even Yong Joon will go to any lengths to protect him , fend for him and taking care of him to the extent of even taking up prostitution. Suddenly one day Jae Sung appears in their life again. His motivation is not clear but it is obvious he wants Yong Joon back in his life, who