Rating: (3 out of 5) Monday, 10/20/2008, 7:00 PM Feature presentation, $10 at AFI Silver Spanish with English subtitles
Last Minute Cancellation!
Lokas has been replaced with a 2nd showing of Breakfast with Scot. Sorry, the original presentation of Lokas at Reel Affirmations cannot be shown for technical reasons, but the replacement film will still take place at the same time and location.
THIS FLAWED BUT cute film from Chile is a lighthearted story of a straight macho man forced to recognize that gay men deserve love and respect. His estranged father is actually gay, the protagonist Charly learns, and the father is essential to helping him and his own young son succeed. Charly is trying to build back his life after his wife died and a stint in prison. His father provides him a place to live and gets him a job at a gay bar, from which this film gets its name.
Gonzalo Justiniano’s film treads familiar territory – homophobic straight man must play gay to succeed, or to get the girl – or in this case, both. And it does resort too frequently to stereotypes and clichés – of gay men as sexually obsessed and freakishly flamboyant, wearing outrageous costumes and twitching their heads as if they were ostentatious birds; of Latin men as eternal mama’s boys. Things aren’t helped by poor acting and overacting, or some serious narrative flaws. For starters, it’s never exactly clear what crime Charly commits, or how much time he served in jail. It seems more significant than the film lets on.
But there is some good-natured humor and irresistible charm to be had in this story that in the end does subtly tread some new ground. Lokas eventually reveals itself to be a tolerance tale: the homophobic father comes to tolerate homosexuality, and everyone recognizes that the gay grandfather and his partner are every bit as well-suited to care for the boy as was his straight grandmother – and even as suited as his straight dad, with his criminal past. The family may not be like those in fairy tales, the boy, Pedro, sweetly jokes as he toasts them over dinner, ”but it’s all I got!” Yep, it’s cute.
Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @ruleonwriting.
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