The Boys in the Band Movie Review Rating: 4/5 Stars (Four stars)
Star Cast: Jim Parsons, Matt Bomer, Charlie Carver, Zachary Quinto, Andrew Rannells, Tuck Watkins, Brian Hutchison, Robin de Jesús and Michael Benjamin Washington
Director: Joe Mantello
What’s Good: It has all gay actors. When was the last time we saw a movie like this?
What’s Bad: It’s a movie, not a web series.
Loo Break: If you take one, you’ll miss the hilarious banter and sudden intense drama.
Watch or Not?: It has a great star cast, the subject is crucial, and you still have this doubt?
The scene starts with Harold (Zachary Quinto) lighting up his cigarette and plays the song Hold On! I’m Coming on his music player. Then we are shown the busy day in New York City of 1968 with and the camera focusing on different men. The makers don’t waste our time and make it clear that the men in this montage scene for more than a minute are all gay.
The story starts with Michael (Jim Parsons) hosting a birthday party for Harold. He has his friend Donald (Matt Bomer) coming in during the day time at his place as one of his commitments get cancelled. Michael hosts a birthday party for Harold, and it’s a get-together time for all his homosexual friends or Queens, as they address each other. These friends are – Larry (Andrew Rannells), Hank (Tuc Watkins), Emory (Robin de Jesús), and Bernard (Michael Benjamin Washington). They also invite a cowboy as a treat for the birthday boy. But one unexpected person, Alan, a straight college friend of Michael’s arrive unexpectedly to the party, things to upside down. After all, is it even a party if there’s no drama?
The Boys in the Band Movie Review: Script Analysis
When The Boys In The Band trailer came out, I read that it is adapted from a 1968 play of the same name. The play was helmed by Mart Crowley and was quite a rage during that time. But I haven’t watched it, so my review is purely based on what I saw in the movie.
We’ve seen several films talking about homosexuality. There have been movies, series and stories written about how homosexuals should be treated equally like the heterosexuals, how they are suppressed, and people see their preferences as a ‘disease’. But what does it mean to be a homosexual in 1968? What does it means to be a straight person who is surrounded by openly gay men and proud of who they are and not letting anyone define them? Or what does a person do when he knows he’s gay but has entirely accepted them despite having no problem with others being just like them? Director Joe Mantello has shown all these aspects in his Netflix film.
The Boys in The Band isn’t a film that has complaints about how society treats them. The boys here really don’t give a damn about society, and that’s how it should be. But we’ve shown the confusion everyone had during their youth days, how they found out who they really are and how far they’ve come in life since then. Using a celebratory moment like a birthday as a backdrop to show such intense emotions and yet making you laugh with subtle dark humour makes this a spectacular watch.
The Boys in the Band Movie Review: Star Performance
Michael is the host of the birthday party, and Jim Parsons is the soul of the movie. He brings people together, and he is the trigger point of all the emotions flooding out of every person in the room. Jim gives an amazing performance. He isn’t a perfect and well-spoken lead you expect in such movies. He’s foul-mouthed and passes racist slurs on Branden. It perplexes you why he’s partly discriminative like this towards his own friends. But the climax answers you everything.
Larry and Hank, who played a couple in the movie aren’t usual happy-go-lucky partners we see in movies. Their story gives us an idea that coming out of the closet isn’t what freedom always means. For some people, there’s more to freedom than just being happy and respectful about who they are.
Harold, played by Zachary Quinto, is quite a trippy character. He walks with an attitude, smokes his cigarette with a class and attacks with his words right where it hurts; especially towards Michael. I enjoyed Zachary, but I wish there were more to it.
It would be unfair to call others the supporting cast because every actor Matt Bomer, Charlie Carver, Brian Hutchison, Robin de Jesús and Michael Benjamin Washington had crucial parts and elevate the entire story.
The Boys in the Band Movie Review: Direction, Music
The movie has a beige tone until it ends. The colour gives you a feeling that everything is all right. That’s precisely how the story starts, and as we ascend into the night, it gets darker and darker. Joe Mantello has done a stupendous job of holding our attention by setting the story inside the house, and a few hours of one night. But capturing the light and the lighter, darker, angry and depressing emotions right with the respective character is quite an achievement for cinematographer, Bill Pope.
When I watch the movie, I couldn’t help but think of Netflix’s another good release of this month, I’m Thinking of Ending Things. There’s nothing similar to this movie apart from the fact that they are majorly set inside the house. But The Boys in The Band is 99% shot inside the four walls, symbolising what a closet looks like, maybe. But if one stays inside the four walls longer and decide to do what Michael makes his friends do in front of his straight friend Alan, one expects explosion our outburst of different emotions.
The scenes are quite intense, yet they somehow make you laugh. At times, I felt guilty for laughing at times, but that is what good cinema does to you. It makes you question everything and even yourself. Joe has successfully managed to capture all this in 2 hours. But I was it was a mini web series so that I could get to know more about these fascinating people in that room.
Music doesn’t play a vital role in the movie. It’s all about the words and performances.
The Boys in the Band Movie Review: The Last Word
Overall, The Boys in The Band is a must-watch. It shows how 2020 is no different compared to 1968. What’s fantastic is it stars openly gay actors, and that’s something a lot of people have been asking movie makers to do – cast a homosexual person to play their community.
The Boys in the Band Trailer
The Boys in the Band releases on 30th September 2020.
Share with us your experience of watching The Boys in the Band.