Holding the Man (2016) Review
A forbidden love which defied almost all odds, only one thing could really tear them apart . . .
Tim and John fell in love as teenagers whilst still at school, but they had to try and hide the romance from everyone. Being gay in the 1970s was not something to shout about, their parents tried to keep them apart but the love they had for one another wasn’t going to be easily dismissed.
Over the course of the film this is done in such a fantastic way that you really want to see them together. You can understand that they don’t see anything wrong with the relationship as the love feels just right for them. Nothing wrong with that at all, brilliantly acted as well from the two leading men, I was very impressed with the many emotions they had to put on display during the course of the film.
I had somehow heard of this film but I cannot remember when or where. I am guessing from someones blog post . . . So when I saw it available on Netflix I jumped at the chance to watch it. Based on a true story and on a book by Tim and his life with John. I think when you already know that watching a film cuts a little bit deeper knowing that these events are so very close to what actually happened to two real people.
The thing is though the main talking and issue point when we enter a gay love story is that Aids then hit. This one is just like that, I think it starts to become rather obvious in films when the years are shown, once we hit the 80s you can just see where it is going to go. Not that knowing that makes this any less sad. In fact it probably makes it even worse. As I mentioned earlier Craig Stott as John was incredible in the role, heartbreaking at times in all honesty. Ryan Corr the more charismatic of the pair as Tim was equally as good. The relationship between the characters felt real – I don’t think you can higher praise than that when acting as a couple!
Like any love story it had its issues and problems from time to time but again that is very much expected with any love. The pair where not constantly together and that certainly was the toughest part to witness. Knowing that one of them had killed them both with the virus was horrible to witness. It still had so many great moments even when it was going to pass the point of no return. I thought their parents reaction to different things was important to see as well.
Aren’t all of the greatest love stories tragic? I often think so and this one would certainly be put well and truly in that bracket. I would certainly recommend this film for that reason along with the powerful performances. This is going to be one of those films that is still on my mind days later. Engraved with the subject matter and how that spell in history really did change things, if only it could have been dealt with better at the time.
If you have seen this film what did you think?