Weekend is a naturalistic indie film that shows us how the briefest encounters can leave the biggest impact, and its own impact transcends its modest setting and sexuality.
Weekend follows Russell (newcomer Tom Cullen, Best Actor winner at Nashville), who, after randomly picking up artist Glen (Chris New) at a nightclub on a Friday night, unexpectedly spends most of the next 48 hours with him in bedrooms and bars, telling stories and having sex, while developing a connection that will resonate throughout their lives. – (C) Sundance Selects
Weekend is shot bare. There’s no musical score nor fancy cinematography. It’s straightforward and the settings are modest. Even when the characters visit a gay club is not the stereotypical hedonistic stylish hangout that’s often portrayed in films.
These directorial choices put the focus on the two leading characters. It pulls the movie down into an ordinary world of an average gay male, rather than show a stereotypical flamboyant world of the sassy gay friend.
The two characters are nuanced and handsome, but not perfectly built. They have that couple next door vibe, which makes them relatable. The film is mostly about the two talking. They discuss their personal lives and homosexuality without being preachy. As they discover more about each other, their distinct personality surfaces. As a result, they both end up questioning each others identity.
Russell is the brooding and solitary type who’s not completely out and wants permanence. Glen on the other hand, is an outspoken and defiant artist who prefers to reinvent himself every chance he gets. Their relationship develops naturally on the course of two days. When the sex scene finally happens, it doesn’t feel forced, contrived or staged for shock value.
The two characters are portrayed well by the actors, whose connection feels natural.
The film also portrays casual prejudice that happens in real life.
It could have benefited from more production value, but considering that this is an indie film, they may not have that much to allow it. It also borrows its concept from the beloved Before Sunrise, but stretched it to two days.
Nonetheless, all these elements combine into a chamber piece that provides a universal theme that every one can relate to. It’s not about homosexuality. It’s a simple, honest love story that was able to naturally portray a brief but potent human connection.
My Rating: 8/10