Despairing of his second feature, British filmmaker Benjamin (Merlin’s Colin Morgan) quickly falls for singer and all round charming dude Noah, played by Phenix Brossard who at the time of writing has likely been cast in a Mick Jagger biopic.
Joel Fry is too along for the ride as Stephen, the foremost of several lesser-developed, minor characters with Fry playing a not dissimilar role to his turn only earlier this year in Yesterday.
Recreating London’s film and comedy scene and delving somewhat into standard pretensions of art house fare, nay a screen devotee won’t get a chuckle at the skewering of existentialist, cerebral cinema with the sneak peaks we’re proffered into this film’s own fake movies.
When Benjamin however turns its hand to theatre and live performance in one sequence, isolated within the film, it comes off fairly harsher. Think Cleaver Greene bemoaning Prospero emerging onto the Sydney Theatre Company stage from a washing machine, only without the obvious affection. As to the comedy realm, the lone vignette with Fry front and centre is very good and the best example of dark humour herein, yet stands regrettably bereft from the more familiar style and tone otherwise evinced by Benjamin.
It’s characters mostly wandering through London and their own lives with little direction or, predictably, conventional plotting, there’s a strong chemistry between Morgan and Brossard to be sure that propels this slice of life. Rendering our investment stronger in these characters by pure virtue of the pair’s conviction and oft-hilarious delivery, that stylistically analogous with many modern features that have taken very similar approaches to like projects, not least of all Sophie Hyde’s recent Animals, will be apparent.
Benjamin likewise choosing to summarise it’s raison d’etre in a late-stage lyrical rendition by the secondary character, it’s conclusion regardless, and concluding moments no less, stand far above this film’s contemporaries not only for resisting the rote temptation to be open-ended but for delivering a relatively novel, involving finale.
Benjamin screened as part of the Queer Screen and Melbourne International Film Festivals and will screen as part of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival and the Queer Screen Blue Mountains program on Saturday October 5
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