Wrong Turn: Our Review of ‘M/M’

Wrong Turn: Our Review of ‘M/M’

Drew Lint made a thriller that he, if research checks out, based on his real life. The best strategy about writing such movies is to tread light, first of all. And then the audience can figure out what is real and what’s not. Or which of the characters stands in for Lint. Perhaps it’s Quebecer Matthew (Antoine Lahaie).

Matthew traveled across the Atlantic to Berlin, just like Lint. However, the former got a soul sucking job as a pool boy. One day he chats with one of the few hotties (Nicholas Maxim Endlicher). Said hottie goes to the pool where he works and is also on Hornet. He follows the hottie to the showers, but they don’t take their flirtation further from there.

Normally, when dealing with teases, people stop and move on to someone more direct. Matthew doesn’t, and instead he stalks the conventionally attractive man, Matthias. He does so in both the old fashioned and the millennial way. We’ve all been there, but this also means that we know how to stop ourselves. However, Matthew chooses not to do that.

M/M also follows Matthias as he cruises men’s rooms at night. Thank God someone’s keeping that tradition alive, and in prurient Berlin of all places. I’ll give the M/M points for frankness, although there is something problematic here. The thriller posits cruising as a way for men to connection instead of talking to each other.

Lint’s M/M also incorporates a literal left turn in a movie already full of left turns. He puts Matthias in a motorcycle accident that puts the latter in a coma. This is one of the thriller’s most fascinating parts, treating him as an object. Like all physical beings, he either falls apart, or someone can maintain him.

Matthias presence can mean one of two ways for Matthew. One, whether or not Matthias will accept Matthew for who he is. Two, Matthias becomes someone Matthew wants to emulate. Either way, the thriller wastes Endlicher as an object of the movie’s male gaze, reducing him to come hither stares.

And of course, the movie makes Matthew choose the latter. The film shows rough trade and guys who want to have sexual relations with guys who look like their brothers. That has its place but not here. What could have been a critique of hyper masculinity and its dangerous tendencies inadvertently becomes something that actually celebrates it.

  • Release Date: 5/30/2018
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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watches movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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