JONGENS (aka BOYS) | REVIEW

JONGENS aka BOYS was the first film I bought tickets to see at this year’s Queer Screen Mardi Gras Film Festival. We got an initial trailer launch for the festival at a screening I went to and I just fell in love with the film. Just my kind of film, a tender coming of age/ discovery/ first love story with a great looking cast and set in a beautiful area. True fantasy that will never happen to me hahaha. Good friend of mine, James, and myself hit this up as part of a double feature we both selected, this followed by lesbian Rosemary’s Baby, LYLE. James was sold on the lesbian horror but the cute boys won for me. Sadly JONGENS (BOYS) has finished screening at the festival BUT you can BUY IT HERE. It runs for only 78mins, has a festival 15+ rating which I would translate to an M rating and is must see for the brotherhood or people who appreciate a good first love story.

 

JONGENS (AKA BOYS) MOVIE POSTER IMAGE
JONGENS (AKA BOYS) | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MOVIE POSTER IMAGE

 

For me this is a similar story to A BEAUTIFUL THING, my all time favourite gay movie. It is first love, it is discovery of one’s self, it is realisation that there is someone in the world for you that you love and it is a summer love story. It is also way too fantastical in reality but it is beautifully told with spectacular cinematography and it is well worth seeing and/or owning. I have seen it twice now, at the festival and on a review screener for home. Will probably buy it as well.

JONGENS (aka BOYS) is centered around Sieger and Marc, two teenagers who meet training for an upcoming national relay championship.

Sieger, a shy introvert, uses his sport to escape from his claustrophobic home environment where his recently widowed father tries to keep control of Sieger’s more wild older brother, Eddy. Marc, on the other hand, has a vivacious and dynamic spirit that draws Sieger out of his shell. As the pair become closer in training, Marc’s unabashed flirtations compel Sieger to face his true feelings and embrace the possibility of finding his perfect companion.

 

JONGENS AKA BOYS MOVIE IMAGE
JONGENS (AKA BOYS) | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | SIEGER (GIJS BLOM) AND MARK (KO ZVANDLIET) IN THE LOCKER ROOM

 

With most gay, or I suppose any first loves, it is not simple, you are suffering from incredible inner turmoil, as a youngster I was Sieger, I met the love of my life at about sixteen, we could never really explore it though as we were both so afraid, and in the movie Sieger wants to keep his brother happy and his life well in the closet so also starts dating a girl, a nice cover you might think, has worked for Tom Cruise for years hahaha but it doesn’t help the inner turmoil, you have another person to try and please and all the while taking you further form pleasing yourself and being who you should really be. In my life, my Marc, kept coming to see me, but I made excuses, or brought a girl out with me or some of my more straight friends (who I were madly in love with) and ignored the possibility because I was so afraid someone would find out I was gay and destroy my reputation – a reputation that means jack shit but past regret.

I suppose this is why I love these younger, coming of age, coming out and first love movies so much, is this why all gay men love them? Besides the hot boys and beautiful tales we get to imagine what could have happened, we think back to how we could have done things differently? We vicariously live the fantasy through the stars? OMG – this is why elder women read Mills and Boone isn’t it? F*ck!!

 

JONGENS AKA BOYS MOVIE IMAGE
JONGENS (AKA BOYS) | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | SIEGER (GIJS BLOM) AND MARK (KO ZVANDLIET) SWIMMING

 

What sets JONGENS (aka BOYS) apart from every run of the mill coming out story is a whole bunch of things really. Firstly the exceptionally penned screenplay from Henk Burger, Jaap-Peter Enderle and Chris Westendorp. It is subtle, internalised by the characters, and not overly explained. In a Hollywood film this would all be about the loss of the mother, there would be abundant tears, huge dialogue scenes, a massive breakdown scene with a crescendo orchestral soundtrack. But in this movie it is just part of their lives and Sieger is the focus with him dealing with his turmoiled sexuality. I was not sure the brother was a needed character although Eddy (Jonas Smulders) is gorgeous and probably there for family balance; where Sieger is introverted, they wanted an extroverted family member? Regardless he was nice to look at and Smulders is one impressive Dutch actor who I look forward to catching up with while viewing his back catalogue – highlight for the festival for me was actually running into him in the foyer, I went speechless and fan boy and then wanted to stalk him :).

Then the cinematography and location of the film. Melle van Essen’s lensing had me thinking back at camping when I was younger, it had the sense of summer holiday in the mountains and I could nearly smell the grass in the woodlands and feel the wind on the track, it definitely added a classy element to the film. And you can’t say everything is amazing without discussing the maestro, the director, Mischa Kamp. She orchestrated what will now be up there as one of my all time favourite gay films. Nice work Mischa!!

And it would be stupid of me not to mention the best part of the movie, the part that makes it, the actors. Gijs Blom and Ko Zvandliet are just stand out exceptional. I applaud their performances, no idea if either of them are gay, I doubt it, but from watching the film you would definitely think that they are. It is not about man on man action, it is about tenderness and heartfelt emotion – brilliantly handled guys!!

 

JONGENS AKA BOYS MOVIE IMAGE
JONGENS (AKA BOYS) | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | SIEGER (GIJS BLOM) AND MARK (KO ZVANDLIET) IN THE CAR WITH STEF (STIJN TAVERNE)

 

Young gay love can be hazardous and at times cruel but when you follow your heart it can also be beautiful – follow your heart and get this movie into your DVD player. This will now make my top 20 gay films of all time list when I update it in June.

 

4 and a Half Pops