It was so so so so bad
No, three "so's" were not enough. I'm not trying to be funny or hyperbolic. I mean that quite literally. I was traumatized. Five minutes before the movie ended I was wishing I could have the last hour and a half of my life back. I just finished watching it. If I could just have made a different decision at the start I wouldn't feel so bad now.
::SPOILERS TO PROCEED::
Honestly I don't even know where to begin to explain my volatile response. I think I’ll start at...
1) bad British rap.
2) kind of annoying film quality. By this I mean the cameras that they used created a low quality picture to look at. This I usually overlook if the content of the film is interesting enough. In this case, it was interesting but unsatisfying.
3) the French guy was really skinny. Like sickly skinny. Maybe that’s just me, but I get really squeamish when I see people whose bodies look like they have an eating disorder. Anyway, this made him pretty not nice to look at. I didn't really want the main guy Cal to end up with someone I wasn't in love with as well. I would have preferred that Olivier just be Cal's introduction into a world and a life wherein he could accept himself as he was. Which brings me to point number
4) I wanted Cal to be with his best friend. (yes I know what you’re thinking "of course, we all indulged in that fantasy for a hot second") But I wanted it not just because he’s a far cry nicer to look at than the alternative. Mostly I was hoping they’ld find a way to be together because they were best friends. I like the idea of our hero being with someone who he understands and who understands him. I want a connection that goes deeper than sex or orientation. After the scene where Cal and Olivier fight my thought was Olivier doesn't understand him. They don't laugh together over stupid things, or watch movies together, or do anything besides have sex and some therapeutic "gay is ok" type discussions. And I mean really, all those long longing looks between Cal and Jonno, the "blow-back", the excessive display of abs--I was teased for over an hour into wanting them to be together only to have it end with
5) a seriously violent display of aggression.(that whole phrase is redundant, but you get what I’m saying about that scene, right?) I think I could have gone my whole life without seeing:
* A man bleeding from the butt after being raped by his best friend.
* Broken glass being ground into someone’s face.
* I already mentioned the naked Olivier.
* Multiple people throwing up.
* Multiple meaningless sexual encounters
And I know, realistically speaking that I can't watch anything if I don't expect to see one of things or worse happening. I'm saying I didn't need to see them all happen in one film repeatedly from beginning to end. I don't care if that’s real life; at the end of the day I like my movies to be entertaining. And by entertaining I mean thought provoking, hopeful, somewhat satisfying… one of these.
6) It felt to me as though I was basically led by the hand into nursing an attraction and attachment to Jonno and in the end where does he end up? He loses a best friend and a good chunk of his humanity and he’s probably going to spend the rest of his life acting out his self-hatred.
(big sigh) I’m ranting. I would be surprised if any word of what I wrote made sound sense. I shouldn’t come straight from a movie reeling with upset emotions and publish my thoughts for the world to see. True. Thank God for anonymity.
Final answer: I didn’t like the movie at all. I think it used a gimmick (gay gang member) threw in some crazy violent scenarios and full frontal nudity and managed to say little if anything of substance or show anything particularly beautiful in the in-between. It made me sad and offered too little relief. Tell me what you think. Explain to me all the ways I’m wrong.