Updated review: Weekend (2011)

Weekend_Film_Current_originalOriginal post here.
Watched again on: 11 December 2013

Halfway through watching this movie again, I realized that I was watching it two years to the day after the first time, completely by chance. I’d been meaning to rewatch this film for a while, because I think I felt like watching something gay, and this was the best such movie I remember from the past few years.

I guess with this post I want to update my opinion of the movie. There were a few things I noticed this time which I may have done the first time around, but perhaps had forgotten by the time I wrote the review (in late February 2012). And this time, I noticed some things I hadn’t the first time.

Last time when I watched it, I felt very young compared to those characters, and I was in the midst of a long dry spell, meaning that it became difficult for me to imagine having sex with someone I met in a club or indeed, at all. Now, to be fair, that’s not something I do now either, but having had a few relationships and flings, especially in the first half of 2012, it’s become more easily relatable. The intervening two years have taught me a lot about myself, and to some extent have caused me to revise my self-image and what I find attractive in others. I assumed that the two main characters are in their early 30s, mainly based on their appearance, but perhaps they’re in their late 20s. In fact, considering that Glen, the shorter of the two characters, is an art student leaving to study in America, perhaps he’s even in his early 20s but just rocking a beard. Perhaps because my appearance is now more similar to theirs (in particular, short hair and unshaven), I don’t feel so far apart from them anymore.

That said, the thing that struck me the most this time around was the gratuitous drug use. Now, marijuana I can tolerate watching, although I find it a little weird, but I don’t have much respect for cocaine users at all, and one major scene of the movie involves the two characters taking coke and getting into a heated argument about various things including gay rights and their individual attitudes to relationships. I can’t relate to that experience. I don’t know what it’s supposed to feel like and I only have a vague idea of what it does to people. Perhaps it’s the fact that I’ve been in Japan, where such things are outlawed much more strictly than the UK, so seeing them so frankly depicted throws me a little.

From a filmic perspective, there were certain other things I noticed. For instance, Russell, the taller character, looks out of his window wistfully a lot, and I noticed that he’s always looking over at a more affluent neighbourhood, presumably longing to be an accepted part of that world.

I also noticed how the film explores the characters’ insecurities – we see from the start that Glen likes to interview his sexual encounters, and later on, it turns out Russell has a diary that he writes about his own sexual encounters. As an orphan, he tends to focus on others’ coming out stories, as he never had one of his own. This leads to a sweet scene in which he “comes out” to Glen, playing the role of his father.

I still recommend it whole-heartedly, despite the drug use. I have about ten more reviews to do to catch up, though: I watched quite a lot of movies over the holidays!

Happy new year everyone!

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2 Responses to Updated review: Weekend (2011)

  1. Adam says:

    So, I recently came across your blog by searching mutual tags, being that I also just wrote a review of ‘Weekend’. This is not a shameless self promotion of my blog, but I had to agree with you on something. I watched this film for the second time before reviewing it and was also struck by some things I had over looked in my first viewing. And yes the drug use upset me too. I took notes as I watched the movie and I kept writing, “Does everyone else do drugs like this? Am I a total square?”. I love the movie, but could not relate to the drug use either. By the way, I enjoy your reviews.

  2. Finlay says:

    Thanks. I had a quick look at your one, seems good. Hope you manage to write some more! :)

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