Movie Review - Eastern Boys

Kirill Emelyanov (left), Daniil Vorobyov (center)
and Olivier Rabourdin in 'Eastern Boys'
There was a story in the news about a gay couple who weren't allowed to marry until just recently. As a way of securing their legal rights to each other, the older one adopted the younger one, establishing a legal father-son relationship.

The coda of this film addresses this issue, but writer-director Robin Campillo gets to it in a way that's weirder than it needed to be. Given where it ends, the opening act of the movie is way too stupid and drags way too long in its length that it kills whatever point Campillo was trying to make.

Campillo's opening act is a home invasion plot, or an apartment invasion plot. Olivier Rabourdin (Taken and Of Gods and Men) plays Daniel, the apartment owner who makes a good amount of money, doing God-knows-what, but he takes the bait and becomes a target for a bunch of wayward young people. Daniil Vorobyov plays the Boss of the home invaders. He's a want-to-be Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange, only not quite. It gets to a point where I didn't understand why Daniel didn't call the police and he was just actively being passive.

Kirill Emelyanov co-stars as Marek aka Rouslan, a young man, possibly a teenager who is an immigrant or possibly a refugee from a war-torn country in eastern Europe, countries bordering Russia. Daniel even confuses Marek for being Russian. At first, it seems as if Marek is just a hustler, giving Daniel sex purely for money, or he sees Daniel as a means of escape. We're supposed to assume that love blooms between the two, but I'm not sure Emelyanov is a good enough actor to sell it.

The final act is a bit of a mess. It becomes a weird rescue mission that makes no sense. It all takes place inside a hotel that operates under weird rules that also make no sense. It turns the film into a bit of a thriller, but a bit more depth into Daniel's character would have been preferred. I never learned what Daniel's job was or how he made his money or what his history was.

It still boggles my mind why Daniel would go trolling for young men at a train station. Does Grindr not exist in France?

Two Stars out of Five.
Not Rated but for mature audiences.
Running Time: 2 hrs. and 8 mins.


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