20 October 2003 | jvframe
GREAT FILM re dramatic consequences of censored communication
There is no other film that deals so confrontingly with homophobia - and with honesty.
It's a deliberately pressured and closed set, but careful editing softens the effect of the confined space. As in Hitchcock's "Rope", the camera never leaves the room, so the viewer feels caged, while the characters can come and go.
The setting is an army barracks in which the men will at any moment be sent overseas for active war duty. The characters have no choice but to negotiate how much they want to know or to accept about eachother.
Long before "don't ask - don't tell" became official US Forces policy, society in general had enforced rigid control over how open any homosexual could be - and Service Personnel have always held the worst reputation for homophobia.
So when Richie flaunts his complete disregard for machismo and swishes around the barracks, he's making one hell of bold statement. He teases Billy mercilessly with come ons, and Billy does his best to call Richie's bluff.
"Streamers" is about the truly dramatic consequences of censored communication. It's a gripping, demanding, powerful and very satisfying film that leaves your head spinning and your heart racing.
You practically need a de-briefing session afterwards, but "Streamers" is certainly one of the most memorable of dramatic movie experiences - on par with "A Clockwork Orange".
The performance by the entire cast is impeccable.