★★★ | Retake
An unusual love story takes place in the new film ‘Retake.’
But is it really a love story? Handsome businessman Jonathan (Tuc Watkins) has returned to San Francisco to relive a trip from his past – a trip that was with his late lover Brandon. So Jonathan picks up hustlers on the streets and pays them to play the role of Brandon by adding a few squirts of cologne and a black wig. One of the hustlers fails miserably at the task, however, another one, Adam (Devon Graye), who looks a bit like Brandon, easily settles into the role, enough so that Jonathan takes him on a car ride to the Grand Canyon, a trip that Jonathan and Brandon were never able to complete because of Brandon’s death from a drug overdose on the trip.
Jonathan has Adam totally re-enact Brandon’s persona – from having him wear his actual clothes to making sure he drinks Brandon’s favorite drink – and Jonathan also has Adam copy Brandon’s gestures. Lines are blurred when Adam starts acting like himself and Jonathan appears to be falling for Adam and not Adam’s Brandon. But will their relationship survive the road trip after Adam confronts Jonathan about photos he has found in his briefcase that all too weirdly mirrors the exact places and poses Jonathan had Brandon pose for on their ill-fated trip?
‘Retake,’ aptly named because of the re-staged photos with Adam, literally takes us on a journey of a man who tries to relive his past. Watkins is a bit stiff as Jonathan, however, Graye is everything you would want him to be; sexy, charming, flirty, fun, and after he cuts his hair to look like Brandon, handsome.
Writer and Director Nick Corporon brings us an original story that, though at times falls flat and and is a bit unbelievable, ultimately win our hearts and becomes one we can identify with for those of us who have suddenly lost a partner.
VOD/DVD release is on Jan. 10th