BENJAMIN

★★★

GAY DRAMEDY TUGS AT THE HEARTSTRINGS IN ALL THE RIGHT WAYS

MELBOURNE QUEER FILM FESTIVAL EXTRA REVIEW
By Chris dos Santos
8th October 2019

Gay-themed drama films are usually depressing and heartbreaking, from ‘Call Me By Your Name’ to ‘Moonlight’ and ‘Brokeback Mountain’, a happy ending for a gay love story is sadly rare. Still, we are getting there slowly with films like ‘Love, Simon’ and 2020’s Judd Apatow/Billy Eichner Gay rom-com, but joy is far from most gay films' storylines. The British film ‘Benjamin’ is the perfect balance of both the happy and hard times in a same-sex relationship.

'BENJAMIN' TRAILER

After a successful film debut, Benjamin (Colin Morgan, TV's ‘Merlin’, ‘Testament of Youth’) is in the middle of directing his second feature when he meets and falls in love with musician Harry (Jack Rowan, TV's ‘Peaky Blinders’). Their relationship goes back and forth as they have both have issues of their own, but Benjamin is struggling not only with his art and living up to the success of his first film but past relationships and how they have influenced his cinematic creations.

One of the greatest things about the film is that fact it's simply a story about two guys in love. It never talks about typical fodder for gay films like coming out, it simply follows a relationship. Even in the meet-the-parents scene, it’s never addressed, a really refreshing element that treats homosexuality with normalcy.

‘Benjamin’ is an enjoyable rom-com, filled with equal amounts of sweet moments and tense ones.

A struggling artist as the main character often comes off as bit too artsy, but thanks to Morgan’s performance it really works here. The character of Benjamin has an awkwardness that really draws you in. The film runs a gamut of emotions, and Morgan gets to show a lot of range; without him, the film would lose that heart-warming connection.

Benjamin is also is very blunt at times and digs himself into holes, he is a very relatable character because of his flaws.

‘Benjamin’ is an enjoyable rom-com, filled with equal amounts of sweet moments and tense ones.

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