Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Shelter (2007) - ★★★½

Director: Jonah Markowitz
Writer: Jonah Markowitz
Stars: Trevor Wright, Brad Rowe, Tina Holmes, Katie Walder
Genre: Romance, LGBTI, Drama

Shelter is an obviously amateur film, but the beautiful chemistry between the two leads made me look past that. It's a simple romance between simple people really. At times the acting was a bit faulty, and the story could have used more substance, but I was unflinchingly interested throughout. I really enjoyed this movie.

Zach (Trevor Wright) is a talented young street artist that has assumed the role of 'father-figure' to his young nephew Cody. When his friends all go to college, Zach is left behind to work in a dead-end diner with no real plans for the future. He happens to bump into his best friend's older brother, Shaun (Brad Rowe), who he has both a powerful chemistry and friendship with. The romance blossoms between them the more they see each other, but Zach's family obligations may just tear them apart.

You know a movie is amateur when it looks like the opening credits were made with iMovie. Yes, this movie was clearly low budget and amateur. Yet somehow they managed to inject one of the best soundtracks I've ever heard into the movie. Shelter has a wonderfully beautiful score and some really fantastic songs in it. I've already bought the music!

Though the acting isn't bad, Trevor Wright's inexperience shows at times. This is remedied by the flawless chemistry between Wright and Rowe, who have some truly beautiful and tender moments. One thing they do better than most actors is have passionate love-making scenes. To me, the MVP of the film was the sister, Tina Holmes. Her acting was above and beyond better than all others. It's good enough to warrant a Supporting Actress Oscar nomination in my opinion.

Aww, their relationship just warms my heart.
Once again it's one of those stories where the main problem is lack of communication. It's pretty tiresome in this film, because all conflicts can be resolved easily. The conflicts really aren't that serious, and the story doesn't have much substance to it. It's executed well, but there are occasional rough patches at times. Shelter is a bit cheesy, yet I can't help but like it. At times it plays like a lifetime movie or soap opera, particularly when there's a flashback of the relationship. I didn't mind this, but it completely prevented the film from being more than just 'good'.

Overall I enjoyed the movie, but it's far from great. What makes it good is the fantastic chemistry between the two leads. The one GREAT thing in this movie is the soundtrack. There are some really cool songs in there. Check it out!

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