Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Greatest art house film of the last five years

It's a seriodramatic comedy called Never Back Down, and it is discusses themes of things not being what they appear, and tackles the different layers behind our understanding of the world and language--this is all implied, but it serves as an unspoken explanation for the events in the film. The main character, Jake, is a troublemaker and moves to Florida or whatever, where he soon meets the love of his life, a streetfighter named Ryan, played by ripped thespian Cam Gigandet. When the two first lock eyes, it's seriously one of the most heart-pounding moments I've ever experienced in my living room. This will probably get nominated for a Spirit Award this year (IF THERE'S ANY JUSTICE).

The two fight at a house party, a sweaty row that is supposed to be symbolic of these two making love for the first time, except the limitations of societal mores makes it so that these two young men cannot express, and so therefore must subvert, their sexual desires. This is presented in the abstract in the form of street fights. Jake loses, which represents him being the bottom. This is meant to portray societies ostracization of 'people like that' and so Jake goes on a journey to both win Ryan's love and prove to the world that he is as much a man, if not more than, his peers.

Seriously, the poetic beauty of the training montages (matched with tasteful radio rock selections) will bring tears to your eyes. The way the filmmakers use a constant barrage of shirtless, smooth-chested cover shots to convey the isolation and almost desperate state of the main character is perhaps one of the boldest artistic choices I've witnessed since Charlie Kaufman chose to put himself as a character in his film Adaptation. I won't spoil the ending, although you'll be able to see it coming. I'll just say this is going to be A HIT among the artsy crowd and might sweep the Oscars this year. I'm calling it now.

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