Beneath the Skin (2015)
Two young men start out with abandonment issues, but find love with each other. Will they be torn apart more by the bullies or their own circumstances?
Summary: Acts of abandonment causes two young men to relocate to a small island in Canada. But things begin to look better when student Joshua (Ellis) and tattooist Jay (Liles) meet. That isuntil Joshua’s new-found school bullies get involved.
There were some good parts to this film that stood out to me. The friendly tattoo artist and his girlfriend who take in Jay (and befriend Joshua) come across as genuine and wonderful people. It’s a shame it wasn’t more developed that they created a chosen family and how that impacted everyone. Joshua and his brother have some scenes that are touching. And Joshua and Jay have some chemistry that helps promote the dynamic between them.
There were also some beautifully shot scenes that communicate more than words to describe what the characters are feeling. Although I felt like some of the in-between montages were a bit much (the long view of rocks and concrete), the scenery was nice.
The hate-crime scenes told a story that still needs to be told, and were rightfully painful to watch.
I wanted to like this film. It has promise and potential, and some basic pieces and parts that could be more. I just didn’t feel like it quite got where it needed to go though.
The plot – Two gay kids who both have some abandonment issues find each other having come from two totally different places. Through the kindness of a young, straight couple, they are taken in like family and are able to discover each other and also find love. There could have been a lot more exploration of this dynamic and how/why they relate to each other. However, it seems like they both just needed someone, and so poof they’re a couple after Jay can’t hide a hard-on.
The rising action includes the weird, bully children at Joshua’s school who torment him incessantly. I will say that the guy who does the intense, hateful staring did actually creep me out a bit. Despite the need for hate-crime stories to be told, I found some little over the top. Not because it was over dramatized, but because it was undeveloped. I mean, I think those kids were actually psychotic. And what ever happened with them? Why didn’t the principal ask more questions or do something?
I think I felt like some of the scenes were forced, almost like the scene needed to be there for a specific reason but that’s it. And some scenes felt disconnected from each other. Why the scene with the woman who delivers a document? Why the scenes with the undeveloped roomie/couple? Nudity was unneeded for the story. I wasn’t a fan of the music as it detracted from the film in some parts as it repeated its sad melodies. The audio was overly dynamic as I watched the film with my finger on the volume control.
The film shows promise, and the folks who created it should be commended for the effort. I will look forward to seeing what they create next.
Availability: Dekkoo, TLA