“ BEAUTIFUL THING”
A Beautiful Movie
“ Beautiful Thing” (Sony Classical) is a beautiful movie. It is one of those great British dramas that is positive throughout despite the sad and grim environment in which it was filmed. It is true-to-life and a wonderful social commentary on the English working class. An interesting study of self-discovery and teen love, “ Beautiful Thing” ranks high on many lists of gay films. The characters and situations are realized fully and each scene is virtually a true picture of the times in which it was made. It is a personal film as it unravels the tale of the coming out of a young teen and that is what makes it so special.
Living in a south-east London housing estate, Jamie is an unpopular guy and avoids school so as to not have to play football. Living nest door to him is Ste, a more popular kid who suffers violence at the hands of his father and brother. The violence brings Jamie and Ste together and as they grow more and more attracted to each other, they begin to fall in love which the end of the film shows with such grace and beauty. The movie looks at the trials and tribulations of coming to terms with sexuality and the fear of others learning about it—Jamie’s fear of his mother’s knowing and her complete defense and loyalty and Ste’s fear of reprisals from his family.
The most beautiful thing about the movie is learning that although gay people are different, we are not bad. Additionally the movie gives a sense of gay pride- – a gay movie with a happy ending is a joy, Jamie as the shy and nerdy unsure lad and Ste as the popular yet insecure, frightened, abused boy show how two different worlds can come together.
There are some wonderful scenes in the film. When the two boys are alone in the woods with nothing but each other and fantastic music, the cares of the world seem to disappear. Likewise the scenes between Jamie, Ste and Jamie’s mom are moving and beautifully done.
For a young man coming to terms with who he is, this movie is perfection—it is honest, it is beautifully written and the direction is amazing.
The actors are amazing. I think that most of us can relate to Jamie. He isn’t interested in sports and is exceptionally wise. He is comfortable with his sexuality and doesn’t care what others may think of him. Ste is the opposite. He is afraid of his brother and his father and his own insecurities and inner demons are always with him. He is ashamed of his sexuality and denies it.
“ Beautiful Thing” is a simple movie but it is beautifully satisfying. The way the script dealt with teen homosexuality is literate and smart and every time the movie gets little heavy, a comic relief is provided. The characters are complex but not too complex and there are no perfect ones.
The accents are a bit difficult to understand at first but as the movie progresses they become almost musical. Even though the movie is now fourteen years old it is still timely and unique with a real-to-life feel. It will tug at your heart and you may shed a tear or two but the tears will be tears of joy for having seen such a beautiful film.