Though beginning with a lengthy, explicit sex scene, filmmakers Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau latest venture Theo and Hugo is an independent diamond amongst cheap summer imitations that presents us with so much more than just sex. It’s real, it’s raw and this is a LGBT film that should certainly not be missed.
Our two eponymous lovers Theo (Geoffrey Couet) and Hugo (Francois Nambot) meet in a sex club and in a seemingly tasteful manner; with convenient red and blue strobe lights this becomes an appreciation of the male physique. As the flashes help these two men navigate their way into each other’s arms, a cheesy, yet enduring sweet moment arises as they share their first kiss. After making love together, it’s hard to fight back the smile that your lips will involuntary form. Whilst hearing these men say things that people might think after sleeping with one another, but never actually have the guts to voice, romantic poetry unleashes itself.
Happiness consumes the first half an hour, but when the situation becomes something much more serious, the film quickly takes a turn. As they realise they got carried away in the moment and had unprotected sex, it dawns on them that they need to call the Aids helpline straight away as Hugo is already HIV positive. This dreamlike sequence now becomes a dreadfully serious matter as they rush to the hospital to start treatment as soon as possible. The severity of the situation is one that perhaps we can imagine but such an event highlights that dangers of unprotected sex and the fantastically accessible protocols that are in place to deal with accidents. The panic and realisation of aspirations and travel plans being over if Theo has got the virus are simply heart-breaking.
Spanning over a couple of hours in the early morning, we explore a subject that Hollywood seems to shy away from. Peccadillo Pictures provides us with an entertainingly insightful, yet extremely risky indie story. For years the female form has been at the fore front, but here we have a very different and refreshing take on male love-making resulting in a compelling gay romance. And despite just meeting, these men stick together through this scary and tough situation confiding in each other and above all else simply being themselves around one another. Touching on how difficult it is to grow up and tell your parents you are gay and escaping in the comforts of sex clubs where no one will judge you, outlines the sad truth that something must be done in order to eradicate this hate and bring the temperature down surrounding such matters.
As Hugo states, ‘desire is stupid’ whilst he desperately tries to find the courage to be angry at Theo for doing what he has done, the truth is so apparent in this statement, that the anger quickly dissolves into hugs and kisses. Despite the sex club location, their meeting is actually rather sweet. Theo and Hugo’s story is a beautifully heart-breaking whirlwind of a romance. A touchingly realistic portrayal the world is more than ready to see.