Colin Firth received wide acclamation for his role as a gay professor in this movie. Usually I wouldn’t want to watch gay movies, as my friend Bee commented when the two actor kissed on screen, it’s kinda weird and uncomfortable. But I like Colin Firth, even in Mama Mia! and the reviewers commented that this is a true actor to watch.
The movie uses flashback to tell the story and we were initially confused if parts were flashbacks or real life. The movie starts with a car accident and George waking up in shock in an ultra modern apartment. As he goes about making breakfast and sitting in the toilet, he looks into his next door neighbour’s yard and we see a family in the 60s going about. Both Bee and I wondered if he is having a flashback but then we realised later that this movie is in the 60s.
We watched as George goes about his day, planning for dinner with his best friend Charlotte, teaching English and tidying up everything, because he was going to kill himself that night. We also see how gay men pick each other up. Just an eye contact and that’s it.
In a flashback where George first met his lover Jim, they chatted in a platonic manner, until a girl came up, fancied Jim, and asked him for a drink. But Jim, his eyes never leaving George replied, I think I’m already taken. Just like that!
There are tender moments between Jim and George. In a scene, they read together in a couch, listening to the record when the record ended and they prodded each other to go change it. In the midst, Jim said, even if he were to die then, he would be happy, for he was with someone he loves. How many hetero-couple truely share that after 16 years together?
Just before George was about to shoot himself, he meets a student in a bar. They go skinny dipping and return to George’s house. There are under current between the two and I’m not sure if his student is a gay looking for a relationship. George changes his mind about killing himself but dies anyway of a heart attack.
My friend Bee and I had different views on why he changed his mind. She said cos he found a new lover, I thought cos he finally realised that there are people who cares about him.
Did I feel queasy watching two men together? No, because other than a kiss shared, the scenes were portrayed tastefully. I did think though, how a man feels stroking a stubbled chin. Watching two stubbled chins as they approaches one another is also kind of funny.
Prior to the show, I did reflect on how an Economic Naturalist would explain, as he did about antlers on a moose, why gays choose the lifestyle they lead, since they are often highly talented and good looking, and based on EN and Darwin’s theory, why choose to forgo passing their genes to the next generation.