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a film by Dean Francis.

2015 | 93 mins | Australia.

a striking portrait of repressed homosexuality.

principal players: Matt Levett / Len, Jack Matthews / Phil and Harry Cook as "Meat".

Congratulations to actor Harry Cook who cast here as Len's straight best friend and fellow lifesaver "Meat",
recently came out as gay, proudly saying it like it is on YouTube - good on ya, mate!

Adapted Synopsis:

Five times winner of the annual Sydney Lifesaving competition, Len is a lifesaving champion; that of a legend in his own lifetime. But when the younger, faster and fitter Phil arrives at the club and saves a young boy on his first day, it seems Len is no longer on top of his game. Confused and reacting violently, Phil must finally come face to face with the fundamental question that he has dodged all his life: will he accept his own sexual identity?

Dave says:

Crosscutting his story with more cuts than a lumberjack with an axe to grind, here we find co-writer and director Dean Francis (of Boys Grammar fame) delight in delivering a film that continually cuts between past and present time frames. It's a narrative ploy that keeps the action going at breakneck speed, with the viewer well aware from the onset of the film's ominous close of play. Only look closer and you'll find that your attention has been misdirected from the numerous pitfalls of the plot, as a bruised and bloody Phil, rather than spend the night with his loving boyfriend, is seemingly only too happy to hang out with the man who earlier had brutally assaulted him, all along seemingly taking without question, the commands of his master's voice.

Such however does not distract from the solid acting throughout; in particular from Matt Levett who as top dog Len delivers a tour de force performance of a man whose long repressed homosexuality has been awoken upon the arrival of the "sweet cheeks" physique of Phil (wonderfully played by Jack Matthews); that of the lifesaver who is set to take his crown. Unable to express his true feelings for Phil, if not secretly envious of a man who is not only openly gay, but in a loving relationship, Len bottles up his emotions, hiding them behind a mask of laddish heterosexuality; one that's guaranteed to shatter in the most dramatic way possible. And it's here that this feature comes into its own, achingly exposing the inner turmoil of a man who just cannot come to terms with his attraction to his own sex. It's a sexual longing that sees Len repeatedly visit Phil's dormitory bed at night, ever looking at him, always yearning to be with the object of his adoration, seemingly unable to keep his hands off Phil; whether it be the loving hands of a friend, or those of a homophobic bully.

Not for the faint-hearted, given the uncomfortable nature of the third act, this still makes for a striking portrait of repressed homosexuality in a masculine environment, beautifully staged and shot throughout and played to the full right up to its gripping, if ultimately tragic finale. Compelling, dark and downright powerful; anything less than FOUR STARS would be a critical travesty.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - the side monty? 
Overall - file under ... 4 stars. 

nudity guide: bare-arsed cheek and [side monty / fake prosthetic?] from co-star Jack Matthews; with lead Matt Levett proud to show his ever so manly chest.

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Copyright 2016 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #2016001
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