FILM REVIEW | Beauty
Francois is a middle aged white Afrikaner family man who is unable to reconcile his inner desires with the values of his contemporaries.
Francois is a cool and passive seeming business man with only a sense of the simmering tensions that he carries showing on the exterior. Racist and homophobic, he inhabits a sexless marriage. Secretly, he meets with other closeted men for flabby and dispassionate group sex parties where no “blacks or faggots” are allowed.
When he meets up with the handsome son of an old friend at a wedding he develops an unhealthy obsession with his beauty. Christian is indeed beautiful, a wholesome trainee solicitor and part time model. Francois follows him to Cape Town where the film comes to a brutal and grubby conclusion.
This dark and unflinching film is shot with plentiful long lingering views of mundane activity as the narrative cranks up the tension and moves on towards the sinister drama. Francois is played to perfection and Deon Lotz puts in a masterful performance as a man at turns repressed and on the verge of implosion and at others pathetic and pitiable.
My only complaint with the film would be that, at times, it was too atmospheric with too many prolonged shots and moody visuals. The tension at times was almost too much to bear.
The film is a reflection on the internal repression of the closeted and damaged self denying men who stumble through life feeling unfulfilled and beaten down. The film is definitely worth a view but it isn’t going to leave you feeling uplifted.