28 February 2013
Movie Review: The Houseboy
In my life I have experienced two types of chaos that I call chaosmosis (no not Guattari). One form of chaosmosis is going to any temporary religious event in India where more than 150,000 people are present. The other is what this movie is all about. It's a chaotic struggle many teenagers who do not live in provincial/tribal settings experience intensified by a disconnect with the feeling body.
Ricky is in a three-way relationship with two 30somethings and lives as the houseboy. Just before the couple departs for a Christmas trip -- in which Ricky will be house-sitting -- he overhears them discussing how they have found a new 'toy' to replace him. Getting that the end is nigh, he uses his time house-sitting for them by engaging in a series of random sexual encounters and other strange encounters than gay teenagers in the 18-23 year old realm might experience in the absence of a strong family or cultural community connection.
He contemplates suicide and even tells each of his random sexual encounters about his intention to kill himself on Christmas Eve. As a counter narrative, though, he encounters a well adjusted young gay guy -- same age -- at the boardwalk/waterfront area. They become friends and this well-adjusted young gay guy becomes a counter narrative to chaosmotic self-destruction of the casual sex, the drugs and the depression.
Nick May was so well on an affective level that he was able to exude precisely the kind of outer detachment that hides the inner pain of being an orphaned gay teenager. I look forward to future work of Nick May's.
I would recommend this as a date night type of movie or to watch with friends. I must admit that I felt like this movie compressed several years of my adolescence into the movie in the way that One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich condensed the life of a gulag prisoner into one day. And perhaps, a life without contact with real feeling and real love, is precisely similarity that my mind would generate by comparing Solzhenitsyn's work to this movie.
Where I find the mass of people in India to be uplifting of the soul in its seemingly organized disorder, this referenceless, guideless struggle is a downpulling of the soul in its seemingly disorganized order. So let that be a lesson to me with movie posters.