Felix Maritaud, Nicolas Bauwens, Aure Atika, Tommy Lee Baik, Ilian Bergala
FilmInk rates movies out of $20 — the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
…a committed and convincing portrait by Maritaud.
A made for TV drama about gay life in contemporary France directed by Christophe Charrier. The first part of the film concerns the youth and awakening of the hero Jonas (Felix Maritaud recently seen in BPM). His mum is the more involved of the two parents. His dad is slightly coarse and macho and, we presume, not impressed by the idea of having a gay son.
When Jonas – already a bit of a loner – goes to his new high school he is ready to just survive by resisting the homophobic bullies and keeping his head down. Into his world walks the larger-than-life Nathan (Tommy Lee Baik), whose flamboyance and devil may care attitude captures Jonas’ heart. The boys pair up and all seems fine for a while. Then one day, they try to get into the eponymous gay night club Boys and are turned away for being underage.
Unwisely they accept a lift from an older man who is hanging around outside the club. That ride turns sour and although Jonas escapes, Nathan is abducted. This catastrophic event traumatises Jonas who ends up as an adult on the bottle and eking out an existence as a hospital porter.
The film is told with two different actors playing the adolescent and adult Jonas in two different time periods. The action constantly cuts between the two.
The broken Jonas is not an easy character to like and his self-loathing is in danger of alienating us as much as it does the characters he interacts with. That said, it is a committed and convincing portrait by Maritaud. Lee Baik is also a breath of fresh air, but he doesn’t have long to shine. One of the best performances in the film is that of Nathan’s mother (Aure Atika) and she also has one of the best scenes in the film when she confronts the adult Jonas with his choices.
Beyond showing the shy romance of the teens, the film does not dare to explore the physical side of their love which again is a reasonable choice for the approach, but makes the film a bit bloodless and evasive.