Sunday, June 25, 2006


I met my second Malaysian blogger, Harvey, today. When I found out that he is going to be here, the first thing I thought of doing was to bring him to watch C.R.A.Z.Y with me.

As it is, I couldn't find anyone to watch the movie with. I can't possibly ask my straight colleagues to go with me and some of the bloggers have already watched it last week.

Before that, I have gone online to check out the movie and it has received good reviews at IMDB and here. It was even named best Canadian feature film at the Toronto International Film Festival.

So my expectations were raised. And I was not disappointed. Warning: There are some spoilers ahead.

C.R.A.Z.Y tells the story of a boy named Zac Beaulieu (who was damn cute as a seven year old and even yummier when he grew up) who was borned on Christmas in 1960. He was the fourth of five boys and his Dad seemed to love him more than Zac's other brothers, as Dad would bring him to eat some special french fries.

His older brothers could be packed into neatly boxes - eldest Christian was a bookworm / nerd, second one Raymond was into drugs and sex and Antoine was the jock / sportsman.

Zac didn't fit into any of these. In addition, he has a gift of healing people, especially burns. He also shared an emotional psychic connection with his Mom.

Things between the Dad and son turned sour when the Dad found him wearing a robe and some of his Mom's jewelry.

I found this to be a little stereotypical because gay men are just gay and most of them don't want to wear women's dresses. I don't deny the fact that there are gays who are like that, but definitely not many.

Probably I am being nitpicky, because how else is the Dad going to find out about Zac's orientation when he's only seven? There were some earlier signs like Zac wanting a tram for a toy and him holding a billowing tissue from the car's window.

From then on, small things like Zac getting into a fight would be viewed approvingly, as it is considered manly. And this was how the Dad consoled himself, or rather choose to deny the truth.

As Zac felt that he has lost that special relationship with his Dad because of his sexuality, he prayed every night to Jesus that he might be cured. "Please don't let me be ... "

When he was fifteen, he liked his cousin, Brigitte. It wasn't clear whether he really liked her because he really did or felt that he should like someone without a penis. Zac got jealous whenever Brigitte's boyfriend was around.

There was a schoolmate, Michelle, who liked him but Zac would not allow things to go further, because "it might ruin our friendship". But out of a need to redeem himself in his father's eyes, to meet his Dad's expectations, he finally went out with Michelle.

Things between father and son seemed to have returned to normal, till Dad saw Zac with a guy coming back home.

When questioned, Zac denied anything happened. But the Dad refused to believe him.

Thre was this scene in the bathroom, between the two parents which I found hilarious.

Dad: It can't be right for someone to want to stick his pecker into another's ass.
Mom: You seemed to have a short memory.
Dad: Well, maybe once.
Dad: Twice? But who's counting?
Mom: More than twice. And I should know as I am counting.

Predictably, he was sent to a psychiatrist. And this was where Zac demonstrated how he himself has internalised homophobia. Dialogue taken from IMDB.

Zac: Do I look like a fag? Do I talk with a lisp? Strut like a peacock?
Shrink: Nice idea of homosexuals you've got there. They're not all like that.
Zac: They all become that way. Sooner of later.
Zac: This is a waste of time. I'm not a fag. I'd rather die. [looking at the shrink, uncomfortable]
Zac: It's just a fugure of speech. Isn't it obvious? Being happy and healthy, or miserable and fucked-up. It's a no-brainer.

Which I feel clearly showed that being gay is NOT a choice.

There was another time, when Zac was 20 and he was seen by someone to be kissing Michelle's boyfriend. The truth was he did not; they were doing something called the shotgun, where a cigarette is inverted in a person's mouth and the other person inhale the smoke produced, which of course has to be done with both lips almost touching.

Dad: Be a man for once in your life and tell the truth!
Zac: What do you want to hear? That I'm gay?! A fag?! That I suck cock?! Yes something happened but not with him. You know with who. Nothing happened earlier (which referred to the incident that got him sent to the psychiatrist). But I would've fucking loved it if something had! Fucking right!

Sometimes, a person can only see thing one way and couldn't believe otherwise, even when the truth is staring right at him.

Overall, I find the movie to be excellent. The acting, storyline and soundtrack were superb.

However the direction is less than tight. At more than two hours, some of the things could have been taken out. All is forgiven as the lead actor is pretty cute, so the length just provides more time to do look at his handsomely boysih face. ;P

For myself, I don't quite relate to the film. For one, I have no intention of impressing my Dad by proving that I am masculine. Perhaps because we didn't really have that special bond to begin with.

Or that the stage of denial and making myself change seemed so distant now. Aargh! But I am not that old what ...

Secondly, the religious theme is a bit too strong for me. As Zac shared the same birthday with Christ, quite a few things were put to faith to change. Like how Zac would equate surviving walking home in heavy snow would mean him overcoming his asthma. And like how he tried to do the same thing with walking across the desert to overcome his homosexuality and almost died as a result.

Other than that, I would say that the movie portrayed the issue of coming out and coming to terms with one's sexuality as best as it can. It is even funny at times, like the situations that Zac got himself into. The struggle, the uncertainty, the need to be accepted by parents and peers, the need to fit in, etc were accurately and ably carried out.

Oh, and I definitely love the songs in the movie. Even the French ones.

"I want to be like everyone else."

"Thank God you never will."

Harvey liked the film a lot, as he said he could relate to it. Probably he would blog about it too.

As a reviewer said in a free Singaporean daily,
Nevertheless, the mainstream movie deserves praise for tackling the stubborn persistence of homophobia in a so-called liberal society. It's just unfortunate that such an old storyline remains relevant today.

Ultimately, it's no one's fault if a son or daughter is gay. The Dad would usually not know how to deal with it (a boy should be like a boy; there's no two ways about it); the son or daughter would have a difficult time to deal with and the Mom would be stuck in-between.

I leave you with the theme song of the movie, Crazy by Cline Patsy, which was also the Zac's dad favourite song.

Crazy, I'm crazy for feeling so lonely
I'm crazy, crazy for feeling so blue
I knew you'd love me as long as you wanted
And then someday you'd leave me for somebody new
Worry, why do I let myself worry?
Wond'ring what in the world did I do?
Crazy for thinking that my love could hold you
I'm crazy for trying and crazy for crying
And I'm crazy for loving you
Crazy for thinking that my love could hold you
I'm crazy for trying and crazy for crying
And I'm crazy for loving you.


Babymic said...

Very comprehensive writeout your "Crazy" experience.I enjoy readng your review =)

I like the show, but I dun relate to it too =) Good point there =)

See ya tml

Harvey said...

T_T Am I the only one who can relate to it?

For me, the movie is better than my expectation because I expected it to be a seriously dull, artsy movie, but the plot is quite funny sometimes. Haha, this is the first time I've watched a gay movie in the cinema. I was a bit scared that someone recognizes me and shouts "Harvey! Harvey!"

Thanks, Derek, for bringing me to watch such a wonderful movie.

ça va pas la tête said...

I saw the review but I have yet to get the DVD. arghhhh cant't wait... especially now I know it is a french movie.. double cool.

Yes, i am a francophile. ;)