A gay re-telling of Charles Dickens' classic Oliver Twist. Updated to current times, moved out of the poor house and onto the streets, the tale is told from the point of Dickens' character, Artful Dodger--now Dodge. The prosaically beautiful Oliver falls into the hands of down-and-out young men. Dodge takes the young man under his wing and instructs him in the unforgiving arts of drug abuse and prostitution. As Oliver's innocence dissolves, both young men confront inner and outer demons and, strangely, it is Dodge who finds he cannot escape his past. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
The best small, gay independent film I've seen in awhile.
For a small independent film I thought it was good. I kept comparing it--in my mind--to "Love and human remains" and "Eclipse" probably because it too was distributed by Strand and that Strand intro always catches me. I'll agree with others that it was overlong, or would have benefited from tighter editing; some scenes should have been tightened up. But the overlong scenes are probably there because those making the film were really eager to get a point across or create an atmosphere.
Each reviewer seemed to get a different message, as is true of just about all the films reviewd at this site. I was impressed with the way the hustlers absorbed and accepted the opinions others have of them; I've sort-of gotten that same opinion watching boys at work at a local mall and transit depot. Society thinks of them as lepers or diseased or garbage and they begin to think of themselves that way. I often get the impression that they've come to think of themselves as so dirty that even if help were offered they would just say that it's "too late for me." I have heard one-or-two say that, by the way. Someday I'd like to meet one who didn't accept the role society assigned him and actually developed a positive self-image. That's the important gift my mother gave me.. "you're as good as anybody."
Being an romantic old fag I was, of course, much taken by the character of Oliver before he became angry and bitter. Thank God I've become too old to think that I can save anyone who's become hard, angry and bitter; that's for the experts.
The character of Fagan was interesting just because he was played as a person who seemed to have moments of caring that came across to me as sincere; I hadn't expected that. I know I've seen that actor somewhere else, but I can't remember where.
I really thought that the final scene with Oliver in the motel got the film's message across forcefully. It's a shame that the film maker didn't stop there; the empty bed scene over stated the obvious.
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