If the 2007 movie Shelter had screened here in the country, I definitely wouldn’t think twice about watching it in the cinema. But as it is, I had to resort to downloading the film and watching it last Christmas break. Anyway, Shelter is a gay-oriented movie about a young man named Zack who discovers he might be gay and develops a relationship with Shaun, his best friend’s older brother who came back home. Zack then struggles to balance his commitments to his family and his dreams of going to art school while contending with his feelings for Shaun.
The plot is actually pretty flat compared to other movies that tackle similar themes. I’m also actually surprised by the relative lack of homophobia displayed by characters in the film. Then again, the setting is coastal California, Prop 8 notwithstanding. So despite the simplistic storyline and the lack of any really deep conflicts, I still ended up liking the movie a lot. I guess I’m just accustomed to watching lots gay movies having sad or tragic endings (Brokeback Mountain being the classical popular example) that seeing a lighthearted feel-good film for a change was very much welcome.
Well, it also helps that the actors playing Zack (Trevor Wright) and Shaun (Brad Rowe) were both yummy, making the movie very likable. Hehe. The sex scenes are solidly R-13 but the passionate kisses are really sweet and just right.
The existence of foreign gay indie movies like Shelter and Boy Culture really makes me wonder why local indie filmmakers can hardly create films of similar quality. While there’s a place for sex, sex and even more sex, a good polished story with tight film-making can win audiences just the same and even garner awards in international film festivals. Out of the several Pinoy gay indie films I’ve seen in the past year, most haven’t been really satisfying at all.