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Customer Review

11 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Weak, unconvincing and boring, 3 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: Keep The Lights On [DVD] (DVD)
'Keep the Lights On' charts the highs and lows (mostly lows it has to be said) of the relationship between filmmaker Erik and troubled publishing lawyer Paul, following them over an eight year period. Although there are occasional interesting moments, particularly early on, the film suffers from a series of problems that render it stilted, unconvincing and, perhaps worst of all, dull, thanks to paper-thin characterisation.

As a regular filmgoer I'm utterly sick of seeing these knackered old stereotypes about gay people writ large on the big screen. The portrayal of gay life here is miserable in the extreme and the normalisation of drug misuse - not casual pot smoking but in actual fact smoking crack - is completely bizarre. We know from an early stage that Paul has a drug problem but the film presents a semi-glamourised, sexualised image of crack use that undermines the dramatic tension and urgency of Erik's later 'intervention'. Meanwhile, Paul as a character has virtually no backstory whatsoever - we learn nothing about him, moments of potential characterisation are glossed over, and his descent into drug-addled hotel room sessions feels almost entirely unbelievable. It is as true of Paul as it is all of the characters in this movie - their emotional world feels completely remote.

I came away from the film feeling a little grubby - there's an uncomfortable ambivalence and emptiness at the heart of it all and I felt myself wondering if what I was really detecting, underneath the well-shot surface and decent production values, was the unsettling vision of a self-hating gay.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Jan 2013 11:48:46 GMT
J. Martin says:
EXCELLENT review! Whether I agree with it or not is irrelevant. It does exactly what a review should do: it makes me want to see the movie and decide for myself whether it's good or not.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Feb 2013 09:58:13 GMT
Ailred says:
JD's review is outstanding. Well done!
I'm afraid that I must make a further observation to say that this this is the most unsatisfying and inept gay film I have ever seen.
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