Sodom – East End Film Festival Review

Let me preface this with a story: I have a friend who likes to break my heart with movies. We all have one. That person who invites you round with the promise of a movie “that you’ll just love,” then two hours later your heart has fallen out of your body until the ground, shattered into a million pieces, and you are being cradled like a babe because EVERYTHING HURTS AND YOU ARE NOT OK?

Yes, I have a friend who I swear relishes in showing me these films. From Weekend to Of Gods and Men, I have been crushed in each and every way.

Well, I got to show her Sodom, and let me tell you: Revenge is sweet.

A word to the wise, please use this little preamble as a warning, Sodom is an emotional and intricate story that will leave you burrito-ed in your blanket, upon a bed of emotion.

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Whilst out on a stag do, an expectant groom Will is handcuffed to a streetlamp with nothing but make-up smeared on his face. A local resident Michael takes pity on him, lending him clothes and taking him home so he can sleep it off, and find his hostel in the morning. However, there is instant sexual attraction between the pair, leading them to sleep with one another despite Will’s impending marriage. But, as the night unfolds, the pair become embroiled in an emotional and honest night as Will confronts his hidden homosexuality.

Directed by Mark Wilshin, Sodom is a passionate love tale. The main set up is two men embroiled in a minimal yet fervent love affair that lasts a night. Confined to the walls of a flat, the tension sparks instantly as you are immersed in this relatable and vigorous story. Everyone has had that frenzied night of connection and yearning with a stranger that goes through until the dawn; where the shades of night twist until the dawn as you covet one another with sexual longing as well as poignant and meaningful conversation. Secrets will spill and moments are had in a night of bonding.

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Actors Pip Brignell and Jo Weil perform well together. The minute they meet on screen, there is an instant rapport and chemistry that takes hold on the screen. As they toil with their secrets and emotions, they play off one another, grounding the affair in realism. They engage completely in the characters and each other. It’s phenomenal to see and the men really capture that spark.

There is a strong message here of accepting who you are and who you love, lost underneath the societal expectations. The story may not be original, but Will’s journey into finding himself and who he really is is invigorating and beguiling.

Wilshin’s visuals are simple yet hauntingly beautiful: The orange flow of street lights in the night makes it compelling. Snapping into this fantasy of a solitary beach where Will clearly longs to be with Michael, Wilshin brings another level of emotion to the tale. Compelling, stunning, and powerful, Sodom is a must-see drama.

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