›› {Brace} ‹‹

a short film by Alicya Eyo and Sophy Holland.

2015 | 24 mins | UK.

a pair of star-crossed lovers longing for sexual acceptance.

principal players: Jake Graf / Adam, Harry Rundle / Rocky, Dannie Pye / Ryan, Georgia Winters / Zoe,
Chris Walters / Tokes, Mike Aherne / Adam's Father and Ingrid Evans as Adam's mother.

cameo appearance by co-director Alicya Eyo as Nurse Gregory.

Official Synopsis:

On his first foray into London's thriving gay scene, newly single Adam meets Rocky; a handsome and mysterious drifter. The two instantly connect, but Rocky seems eager to reveal more of himself than Adam is prepared to discover.

Dave says:

This is one of those short films where to even hint at its twist-in-the-tale would be a cardinal sin. Thankfully the whole scenario is brilliantly handled, thanks in no small part to the fine work from stars of the show Jake Graf and Harry Rundle, who beautifully showcase the blossoming relationship between two men hoping that in each other to have found "the one," only for life's secrets to get in the way of love, even if Dannie Pye ends up almost stealing the show, so natural is his performance as their gay best friend Ryan.

That said, Harry Rundle excels as Rocky; namely the lonesome young man who yearns to be open and honest about himself, only for boyfriend in-the-making Adam to fear the truth may get in the way of their developing relationship, given he's only just come out as a gay man and a single man, at that too. Yet the truth will always out and folk beware that here it's courtesy of a graphic sequence of homophobic violence that's as sickening, as its integral to the plot, namely the touching story of a pair of star-crossed lovers longing for sexual acceptance. And here special credit must go to Jake Graf, both as an actor and the writer of the short itself, having laced his screenplay with a series of poignant scenes that on reflection give way to their true meaning.

High in production values and cinematography throughout, frankly, this is a work that punches well above the weight of your standard short, having vividly captured the throbbing heart of the London gay scene, let along the "getting to know you" part of any relationship, along the way delivering a cinematic sermon on the difficulty many face in fitting into a society that loves to pigeon-hole human sexuality into what is "normal" and what is not. And whilst the closing twist personally did not arrive as a surprise to me, to be frank I was expecting it, this short nevertheless is a credit to both cast and crew whose heartfelt message of love and acceptance cannot be said loud enough. As ever, check it out and see what you think.

›› available as part of the BOYS ON FILM #14 shorts compilation - Worlds Collide.
›› also available as an Official FreeView on Vimeo.
›› posted: Sunday, 26th June, 2016.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - none. 
Overall - file under ... 4 stars. 

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Copyright 2016 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
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