Friday, October 26, 2012

In August (Film Review: August)

"August" is one of those slow-burn movies that get to you, and get to you deeply. On the surface, "August" is a very uncomplicated movie - Troy (Daniel Dugan) returns to Los Angeles after living in Spain. He places a call to Jonathan (Murray Bartlett) and the phone is answered by Raul (Adrian Gonzales) who takes a message for Jonathan. This simple scene triggers a tsunami of emotions. Troy is Jonathan's ex, "Oh you're the one," as Raul says. They had an emotion-filled summer. But then Troy leaves him. You don't really know the whole story, but you know enough. You know that it took a while for Jonathan to get over it. You know that Troy hurt him. You know that there probably wasn't sufficient closure. You know that there is still a myriad of feelings Jonathan feels for Troy, even if he seems to be happily partnered now to Raul. The film effectively and heartbreakingly shows these dilemmas. I love its non-linear editing, it mirrors the layered and complicated emotions the characters are feeling, and reacting to and for. I love the gentle nuances of three actors - all excellent here - gently aided by a sparse script that tells you less but more. The way one looks at another, the way a glace is stolen, the way a kiss is given. I love its open-ended ending. You think you have resolved things by the end, but the air seems heavier, just like the sweltering heat hovering over them. This is a film you feel more than you understand. 

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