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Monday, April 03, 2006

FAQS

Review by Duane Simolke, author of Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure, for This Week In Texas.

I should admit that, during the early scenes of FAQS, I kept thinking I would not like the rest of the movie. The cover and the promotional material make it look interesting, but early on, the plot seemed doomed to trap itself in B-movie territory. The movie turned out nothing like what I expected, and I definitely enjoyed it.

Writer/director Everett Lewis puts his anger out for all to see, but then keeps surprising viewers with the compassion, creativity, and humanity of the characters who embody his anger. At times, the characters seem overly simplified, with all gays as purely good and all nongays as purely evil. However, Lewis seems to use that dichotomy as a way of forging characters that basically become gay superheroes. Within the context of a comic book environment, the characters then seem real, and the violence never becomes central to the film. In fact, most of the gay characters learn to see violence as weakness and “for the straights.”

Homeless runaway India (Joe Lia) almost becomes the victim of a gay bashing, before the drag queen Destiny (Allan Louis) rescues him and then makes him a part of her gay family. Though Destiny often looks silly in her costumes, she always deserves the name “queen,” and makes an imposing entrance the first time we see her. India quickly evolves from scared runaway to a heroic and sensitive renegade who finds creative ways to stand against hatred. The closing conversation between India and his boyfriend, filmed close-up, captures the movie’s message of rebellious, fearless, transforming love.

Visit This Week In Texas for my review of the new theatrical release Adam & Steve.