Wednesday, 10 July 2013
Weekend (2011) - ★★★★★
Writer: Andrew Haigh
Stars: Tom Cullen, Chris New, Jonathan Race
I found Weekend to be flawless. It's just so beautiful, filled with passion and realism. Everything about it just really spoke to me, from the little insecurities of the characters to the heartfelt things they said to each other. I was amazed at how much this relationship seemed real. By the end, I just wanted more. Part of me wished it was an epic that spanned for another 2 hours... that's how much I enjoyed it. There's just something magical about Weekend that captivated me from start to finish.
On his way home from a drunken house party, Russell (Tom Cullen) decides to go to a gay bar for a one night stand. He wakes up with Glen (Chris New), who tape-records Russell's thoughts on their liaison the very next morning. It's awkward at first, but the more they talk the more they come to like each other. As their chemistry, friendship, and indeed love for each other blooms, Glen drops a bombshell. He's leaving for the US in two days time, which would cut short their beautiful relationship.
What captivated me at first was the personalities of the characters. They're just normal people who are both very different from each other. Russell is such a lovely guy that is quiet and shy. Glen is confident, funny, and opinionated. Tom Cullen gave a magnificent performance, showing us the deep feelings that his character experiences as the relationship grows. Chris New blew me away too, portraying strength and confidence, but also subtle insecurities. Together, they had such powerful chemistry. Not since Lost in Translation have I been so wrapped in a romantic relationship. They brought these characters to life, making me feel like a fly on the wall watching a very real situation. It's a movie, but it didn't feel like I was watching a movie. I ended up getting so into these characters that I became depressed at the thought of this film ending.
This has only happened to me in a movie once or twice. I'd have to say Lost in Translation and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind were the only others that made me feel this strongly about a relationship. Weekend wasn't filled with sadness, or sappy romance, or anything cliche. It was filled with real people, real emotions, and a very real situation. I'm writing this now in the hope that one day there will be a sequel, because I just want to see more.
I found it to be perfect in all other aspects too. The music was lovely and the cinematography made everything more intriguing and realistic. Altogether, Weekend worked as a masterpiece. It starts of with the shy and awkward Russell, who I connected with straight away. Then the romance and excitement sparked up with the introduction of Glen, whose character breathed life into the story. Together, Russell and Glen were a bit like yin and yang, having opposite personalities but a very real connection. As their relationship grew and the end of the weekend loomed, I had such a heavy heart (and still do).
Andrew Haigh constructed a really strong, beautiful film from using two very talented actors. It's hard to find two people with true chemistry. Somehow, they managed to find the perfect people to play Russell and Glen. My hat goes off to everyone involved in the making of Weekend, because it effected me deeper than they will ever know. It probably won't have as dramatic an effect on most people, but I'm so glad that it did on me. Weekend is one of the greatest LGBTI movies ever made.