Weekend is a beautifully simple drama set in a modern day Britain. The film centres around the 48-hour relationship of Russell and Glen and explores the incredible intimacy and affection that can grow between people in such a short time. Being a romantic drama, it could be said the film occasionally enters “soppy” territory but these moments are few and far between and even when they occur, they feel important and writer/director Andrew Haigh works hard to mask them in moments and dialogue that appear real.
It is in some ways your typical independent film with its concentration on well written dialogue and an emphasis on fewer main characters. It must, however, be highlighted how refreshing it is to see a story of a gay relationship in which the characters are not struggling with their sexuality; at least not have this be the main point of the narrative. Of course, these kinds of films have their place but there is so much more to a person than their sexuality, so why not show it?
Neither Russell nor Glen has lived the early life they wanted to this point. Their chance meeting in a night club sets off an intense relationship which is quickly developed in sharply written scenes and slowly they reveal the troubled backstories of the two characters. It is by no means devoid of humour and it is their shared ability to make each other laugh which helps to quickly bond Russell and Glen in a way that somehow feels natural in such a small amount of time. This along with a mutual interest in diarising one night stands!
Given that this is Tom Cullen and Chris New’s debut feature film, they too deserve much praise (along with the casting director I would imagine) for the on screen chemistry they have managed to create. They just feel like two guys who would be attracted to one another and could have a great future together, making for a third act which is all the more effective because of it.
I may have described this film as simple but that is not meant as a negative aspect. The lack of subplots and such allow the main element of the story to grow and grow. This in turn makes us as an audience feel what Russell feels in a much more intimate, immediate way; something which is absent in much too many mainstream releases.
RATING: SEE IT
[Rating system: See it / See it cheap / Skip it]