This may be the most difficult review I will ever do. When this movie first came out there was an outcry- this was the most outrageous pile of garbage Hollywood has ever made. A story of a man seducing a young kid to have sex with him? ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? The right trashed it mercilessly, the left applauded it. Yet another chasm between the two sides of the political spectrum. How in the world could anyone applaud this movie??
Well, you can’t if you understand the surface storyline alone. (which, btw, I don’t know how this can happen if you actually do watch the movie) The profound nature of the film is on display immediately with the opening credits. The credits are paired with photos of iconic statues from the ancient world (which also happens to be part of a subplot in the movie- the boys’ father is working within academia to catalogue ancient artifacts which, in one scene, we see being dredged up out of a lake in northern Italy) These images begin the story and are exactly what change the premise of the film – that this is not just more garbage from Hollywood – it is the deepest film I have ever seen.
Now I would even go so far as to say that this is one of my favorite films because of what it portrays. It attempts to show us the meeting of two souls- a story that we mostly know from antiquity. Alexander and Hephastion, Jonathan and David, Apollo and Patroclus. This is the story of two souls who- no matter their sex or any other possible descriptor imagineable- find one another in a life changing summer in Italy.
‘If I could have him like this in my dreams every night for the rest of my life I would stake MY LIFE on dreams. And be done with the rest of it.’ This lofty Shakesperean rhetoric is what makes this the deepest movie I have ever watched. If you can take out the details of who these people are, then you get it. And you will love it.
oh- the title of the movie. It says everything. Two people are so close they are each other.