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|Index||20 reviews in total|
I just saw this film today at Reeling 29, the Chicago LGBT Film
Festival. It's my favorite so far and I've seen MANY good, even great,
films already. This one was just... great. Ben Bonenfant is an
excellent lead in this film, too. I've never seen the short he was in
before this, but going to try to find it somehow.
His acting was so good, I felt like I was watching a documentary. He/we learn something with every encounter in this film. I don't want to give anything away. I'm buying it as soon as it's out - actually I'm going to see if/when it's available.
Seriously, watch this movie and you'll feel like you accompanied Alice down the rabbit hole - except Alice is a hustler and the rabbit hole is, well... use your imagination.
the BEST gay-themed movie I've ever seen in a long time . Three words-
Elegant, Erotic and Profound. Some might critic about the stereotypes
in this movie, the episodic plot and the ambiguity of it all. But the
amazing acting moves the episodes so smoothly, the Honesty of its
material makes it more then just your run-of-the-mill gay themed movie.
Another plus for this movie, all the guys are hot and great acting. The ending scenes alone are quite awesome and the beginning scene really pulls you into what the movie is all about. It's a rare movie where it will make you horny and make you weep at the same time (if you get emotional at movies lol).
Ben Bonefant said in an interview: "It's like a gay man's Christmas Story" I couldn't agree more. Gritty and real and sometimes Dream-like Strapped manages to be This Unexpectedly moving movie about a gay Hustler, an emotional experience HIGHLY recommend it A+
I love 'gay themed' indie films. But so frequently the story line is a
drag, the characters often fuel those stereotypes about folks who lead
In addition, I often find the acting to be blasé.
Such was not the case with Strapped. This is by far, one of the most beautifully written and acted films I think I have seen in awhile.
Newcomer Ben Bonenfant does an amazing job as he plays a young hustler 'finding himself' in a crazy mixed up world called 'life.' He is sexy and tender in this film and truly breathes life to the various facades he puts on as he 'hustles' his way lost through an apartment building.
The parallel of him being lost in this building and being lost in life really weaves an amazing balance as the story unfolds.
I truly was mesmerized by this film and felt it really was very well written, directed, and acted.
In fact I would add, I truly fell in love with all of the characters who each played their roles perfectly and well acted.
An excellent sexy but tender film.
An astonishing, spectacularly good little movie - much, MUCH better
than anybody has words to say. Sexy and poetic, lyrical and
heartbreaking and soaring. It is as mundane as a leaking roof and as
wide and glorious as the universe. To say it is about a hustler turning
tricks is like saying the Odyssey is about a guy who got stuck in
traffic on the way home.
Its minor flaws, so tiny they are almost insignificant - sloppy camera focus in crucial scenes, occasionally ponderous dialog, the total lack of tongues during the all-important kiss - simply make it better, realer, more human, as tiny flaws in great works of art always do.
If I could have seen only one gay movie in all my life, this is the one I would want it to be.
It kills me when someone attempts to classify a movie as "gay" and/or "straight". If it falls into either of those categories it fails at being universal. I found this one, minus some of the raunchy dialogue, to be universal. If gays can love "Leaving Las Vegas" and "Pretty Woman", why can't straights love this? Hustler pretends to be whatever/whomever his male clients need, and discovers himself along the way. Is that really so taxing? Brief nudity in the beginning, sex that focuses solely on the facial expressions for the rest of the film, and some pretty rough/real dialogue. Really, too much for straights? I don't think so. The lead is perfect, the rest of the acting can be spotty, and there's a lot of verbal exposition(redundant?) Still an awesome film no matter the genre. When I saw the term "hustler listed in the description I almost passed, as I would "Coming of Age" or "HIV Positive" themed films, but this one is different. A gay guy figuring himself out. Cool flick.
Having never heard of this film or any of the actors, I was hesitant to
sit through another "gay hustler" story. I'm thankful I did.
Ditto on all the adjectives used by the other reviewers who enjoyed Strapped. This film is fresh. I knocked off 1 star because of a few technical flaws, though they don't detract from the story. This is a definite DVD purchase for my library.
I don't believe they were, but I question whether or not the themes may have been too Americanized. Our esteemed reviewer from Russia doesn't share my opinion and I accept that people are looking for different things from the movie experience.
The only flaw in the movie "Strapped" is its title, which elicits a gay porno more than the sweet emotional narrative it actually is. Yes, the story of a man allegorically making his way through life and finding himself in the end has been done before, but the framework of this story is beautifully constructed, and beautifully polished. It's unfortunate that this film is "strapped" with the classification of gay genre, and many straights will see it only as a disgusting homo erotic porn flick, when in actuality it is one of the better, if not the best, journey of life allegories I have ever seen. Unlike most straight guys, I am not bothered by gay sex. This allows me to transfer the emotions of the film into my own heterosexual domain, and allows me to see that love is love, and in a perfect world it wouldn't matter who you loved, nor would anyone mind who you loved. This movie touched me, and where some see ambiguity (an oft repeated criticism of the film), I see a precious vagueness which is the crux of human existence. "Strapped" is worth the visit, just like the apartment building, and life in general, is worth the visit. If the goal of the producers was for the audience to experience love, the mission was accomplished.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In fact I would call it a triumph for TLA (for the company is as
conceited as FOCUS, on another level): this is a nice little film,
obviously crafted with care, even if it has its missteps, and a
Ben Bonenfant, is truly a good boy! He can put on his various personas in a way the film profits from, and does not get obvious, or too allegory-laden. As it is the Lynch smell of the labyrinthine building is as much allegory one wishes for, and, hey! now that I think of it, Eraserhead as a pun may give us the guideline of this pilgrim's progress.
The most touching, in fact the film's anchoring scene was the encounter with the old gay man who almost glows with polemical significance when on screen; a really magnetic presence. And since I get weary with the word wisdom, the exchange between the two of them, gives us I think a graceful moment, when two generations almost at the edge of the spectrum meet. I have rarely encountered it in a film ringing so simple and true. Thank you.
All the stories that revolve around are well done, but the end is somewhat problematic. Was I the only one to get the comic effect when the writer gets what he wants and jumps onto his writing, inspired and - actually - self-absorbed? The irony here is too strong to be saved, or convinced by a happy ending. Even the protagonist seems reluctant about this, having made his choice. In the end he seems more of a worthy erotic object than the somewhat pathetic writer. The pitch of the pre-kiss scene seems borrowing on the sensitivity after "Shortbus", and comes off too good for its sentiments. I for one was more in tune with the haunted peregrinations tonality, or at least I would prefer the irony, or rather the common need to bond, not to fall back halfway on our amiable protagonist.
We sometimes feel like we are lost, alone, and confused. Why not? Life
is a labyrinth of trials, much like the building that the protagonist
gets lost (literally and figuratively) in. Mistaking one path for
another is easy, terrifying, and painful. Each path has friends and
enemies, angels and demons. But if we're lucky enough, brave enough, we
just might let someone in. Getting lost finding the way seems less
Strapped is one of the most excellent films I have watched in quite a while. The writing is excellent, the direction is excellent, the acting is excellent. I have so much more to say about the intelligence, the symbolism, the honesty, the multi-layered profundity, the heart, and the life-affirming testament that is this film; however, why spoil all the fun for you?
What is it about prostitutes? Their beauty, of course. Another part of
it is their easy sexuality and availability. They have no hangups.
(Well, not many anyway.) Everyone wants to do it with them, so why not
charge for it? Another part of it is this ridiculous fantasy about
"converting" them from sex machines into cuddling lovers.
I'm sure someone has written about this as a cinematic theme. It's not a gay/straight thing. It's a prostitute thing. Gays are as fascinated by prostitutes as anyone else. And of course a hustler movie is always going to have some decent eye candy and eroticism.
Well, this is a particularly good example of the genre. We follow a young gay hustler (well played by Ben Bonenfant) as he meets, and has sex with, a number of people who live in a single apartment building.
Our nameless hustler is disingenuous and guileless (for a hustler) but engaging and quite adorable. He is not an injured soul to be used and discarded. Fortunately he seems to lack the background traumas that drive most hustlers. He is a blank slate as he f*cks his way through the apartment building, learning and growing as he goes along. Each client is a revelation. Yes, he's doing it for the money--but there's something else going on there. He's devastatingly good at his work. Our innocent beauty may be a little lost, but he bestows each client with the sacrament needed.
The director slowly reveals some of the face behind the mask, as the hustler-hero explores the various interesting aspects of this gay world. Is he trapped in the apartment building? Is it actually his home? Or is it a temporary way-stop on the journey to a conventional life? You see, he's gay, but not gay gay.
In one memorable scene, when asked how old he is, he compares himself to fresh-cut flowers; that's how he feels of course. In the bloom of his youth. However, his older, wise and worldly client points to a painting depicting a beautiful St Sebastian and points out that the hustler is more like that, young in body but an age old theme, the beautiful but wounded saint.
A captivating and surprisingly intelligent and moving movie. Let's hope Joseph Gordon makes more like this.
So why does this film get only 6.5 on IMDb?? It's inexplicable. Don't let that dissuade you from seeing it.
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