Signed up the 29/03/2017
Romeos is a 2011 German film, written and directed by Sabine Bernardi. The film follows Lukas a 20-something year old trans man transitioning from female to male who falls in love with a Fabio a gay man.
Whew where do I even begin with this film?! Yikes I'm still trying to recover from the tragedy of it all. It's such a great film that follows the internal and external struggles of transman who is going through this life changing experience and is essentially trying to be part of the world I guess.
In the first act, there's a mix up with accommodation and he is placed in an all girls dorm. This would generally upset any guy and this is a simple issue but Lukas really doesn't want to stay with the girls and really wants the boys dorm and keeps insisting on being moved. I just thought Lukas had self esteem issues and maybe he was bullied when he was younger maybe because he had feminine features or whatever but when it was revealed that he's transitioning, the resistance made sense.
Lukas' struggle is one many queer males can identify with, myself included. This search for "masculinity", this needing to feel and be manly so we try so hard to fit in and we lose track of what's good for us.
When Lukas finally gets to the boys dorm he learns that the grass isn't always greener on the other side.
Lukas' obsession with having muscles, smelling manly and looking like a guy are all justified but in this process he ends up alienating his best friend, who knew him when he was still Miriam. The friend repeatedly tells him that he's become so self absorbed that he doesn't even notice her struggles, there's a scene which proves this as Ine (the best friend) pours her heart out to Lukas but Lukas is not even really listening cause he's focused on Fabio.
Ah Fabio the heartthrob, this guy is so pretty and is confident and a man (yup I'm crushing), everything that Lukas wants and I guess that's what pulls him in but Fabio is the classic love interest as he loves what he sees until he learns of Lukas being trans which changes his views on things.
He distances himself from Lukas but at the same time is always there causing this internal conflict between them which is seen externally by how different they are towards each other now but like any love story our Romeos find each other again in the end when Fabio accepts Lukas and Lukas in away is no longer trying to hide his change.
Romeos is heartbreaking for me as the subject matter is so real and so now. Yet it's treated in such a way that it offends no one but it also educates on the struggles of trans people. We see this through the video journals Lukas puts out, we get to see what he is really thinking and there's this heartbreaking video journal from one of Lukas' followers I guess who is also from male to female, when he talks being bullied in the boys locker room and having to accept that it's his life now. I cried. There's this beautiful montage of of video journals of people speaking about their experiences and again I cried (yes I know I'm weak)
The film essentially is a coming-of-age love story that has this clichéd humour/awkwardness to it which adds to it's greatness. The filmmaker hides the tragic nature of the film within the humour, I say tragic because well how do I describe it? I don't know how to describe it but watch and you'll see. Everything is not uhm you know know, not "fake" but it's all realistic and grounded and gives you a real sense of the German queer scene and the look into a trans life in the German queer scene. You can't help but feel the realness of it all, it's heavy.
I highly recommend Romeos for anyone who is into cinema and queer cinema, it's well made and hits the right notes. It's such an amazing viewing experience. Some will find it funny and some will find it heartbreaking like I did but it is a must watch.
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