FILM REVIEW | The Secret Path
This new gay love story from a married couple of newbie filmmakers Daniel and Richard Mansfield is quite unique.★★★
Essentially a two-hander, its the story of a pair of lovers in their late 20s who are on the run having deserted the British Navy in the early 1800s. Having come ashore near the rather lush grounds of the estate of an abandoned country house, the two men live ‘rough’ during the day whilst at night they dig up dead bodies to sell and get some funds to move on.
In a script that is full of more holes than any net these ex-Mariners may have found at sea, we are never too sure why they do little beyond walking around in circles or just lying on the grass cuddling each other.
They make out occasionally in a manner that one can only suggest that their clumsiness is due to being new to man-on-man sex, or that they are used to doing it on rough seas which gave them a natural rhythm. What is for sure is that the whole place is haunted, and in this supernatural thriller where Theo alone keeps seeing dead people, we know that it cannot possible end well for him or for his lover Frank.
It’s a bold move making a gay period drama, especially on a micro-budget, and these two Brit filmmakers should be applauded for their valiant effort. The combination of the jerky hand-held cameras and an ominously eerie soundtrack go a long way to making this wee movie more watchable. The two very likeable actors, Darren Bransford & Henry Regan, do well with their parts but they, like the script could have so benefited with both more substance and better direction. The whole thin plot was far too stretched out and made one’s attention wander a little too often in the middle section in particular.
This new movie is due to be premiered at the GayWise Festival in London in November but before that will be available on VOD/DVD at Amazon.