REVIEW: 7 Minutes : Film

Brian Butler November 6, 2020

Ricky Mastro’s latest LGBTQ+ film has an intriguing start. Two extremely handsome young men have a passionate but uncontrolled Chemsex session in a hotel room.

You start to pigeonhole the piece as art bordering on soft porn, when you’re pulled up short. First Kevin collapses and dies and then 7 minutes later – hence the title- his boyfriend Maxime also succumbs.

But it’s not that straightforward a narrative as you constantly find in this sometimes annoyingly opaque film . Maxime’s father Jean  is a 55- year-old police commander in Toulouse, France , where the film is set.

And Jean doesn’t accept the autopsy results – drug overdose  – because both boys were also found hanged.

There follows a meandering morality tale as Jean, played with moody ambiguity by Antoine Herbez, dives into the seedy world of the gay  club the Bisou , where a heady cocktail of  Dancing boys, booze and drugs is available every night.

Jean’s quest for the truth leads him into an implausible sexual relationship with the beautiful androgynous club worker Fabien, played with great skill and a strange charm by Clement Naline.

The police officer gets deeper and deeper into the club scene, pretending to be a writer who wants to find out about the punters and their lives.

The club scenes again verge on the sort of R18 videos that come from the top shelf of a Prowler shop, but Mastro layers the sex action with a wider meaning and attempts to make both Jean and the homeless and unfocused Fabien into attractive characters we care about.

Mastro has said that his experience of club work and seeing a young man who lost everything in life because of drugs led him to make the film.

In the end – and the end is far from crystal clear in its meaning – the morality aspects are not fully enough developed, and most of the club boys are unrealistically gorgeous like a well- bufffed Bel Ami film.

But it’s an interesting story that is certainly worth a watch, whatever we make of Jean and Fabien’s fate. 7 Minutes is a Breaking Glass Pictures production.

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