Rifat Ahmed Riyad
“Once upon a time, there lived a beautiful princess, who was saved by a charming prince. And they lived happily ever after.”
When we think about any love story, the first thing that comes to our mind is a boy meeting a girl and falling in love. But, have we ever asked ourselves why it’s a boy and a girl, and not a boy and a boy, or a girl with a girl? The reason is, we grew up in a society where there are baseless “laws of love” which dictate who we’re supposed to love and who not to. But, this shouldn’t be the case, one should be able to love whoever they are attracted to, for one doesn’t choose one’s sexual orientation.
More importantly, “love has no gender.” So, why should we think about it when we fall in love with someone? These are the very thoughts that will strike you once you watch the movies listed below. They tell tales of love which are bound by no rules. They show you how homosexual romances are as amazing as heterosexual ones. So, with no further ado, let me introduce you to these amazing queer movies!
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)
The story of this French historical drama centres around two young women named Marianne and Heloise. Marianne, a painter, is hired to do a portrait of Heloise, and thus an epic tale of love begins. The chemistry between the two and the gorgeous cinematography will keep you hooked to the screen throughout the film. The verbal exchanges between the lovers are scanty; they try to understand each other simply through gazing, by which they really see each other, free from all illusion, and accept for who they really are. The movie seems to tells us:
“To observe is to be in power, to be observed is to be desired, and the place those two meet is love.”
Its every minute will seize you, for its every frame is a painting, for its each and every dialogue ignites a fire inside. It’s so breathtakingly beautiful!
Blue is the Warmest Color (2013)
This Palme d’Or winning French drama follows the erotic and passionate love story of Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos) and Emma (Léa Seydoux). Adèle is a high-schooler and Emma is an art student. They meet at a lesbian bar and are immediately taken by each other — “the romantic spark between them is a lightning bolt.” The movie contains not only the most sensual lovemaking scene you’ll ever see, but also the rawest emotion embodied by the brilliant performances given by Léa and Adèle. After a three hour long emotional journey, the movie will leave you with teary eyes.
The Handmaiden (2016)
Although Park Chan-Wook’s recent masterpiece The Handmaiden starts off as a scheme of claiming fortune, it turns out to be one of the fiercest love stories ever told on celluloid. It tells the love story of Sook-hee, a female con artist in disguise of a handmaiden, and Lady Hideko, a rich young heiress, whom Sook-hee serves. The movie, a blend of revenge thriller and romance, is set in Japanese-occupied Korea in the 1930s. The story has many layers to it and you’ll be awe-struck by how they unfold. Despite all the tricks and turns the story entails, the romantic relationship of Sooki and Lady Hideko is always at the centre. The movie is visually stunning, frankly sexual, and at times horrifically violent. It’ll keep you glued to the screen throughout the runtime.
Love, Simon (2018)
Based on Becky Albertalli’s YA novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Love, Simon is a coming out tale of Simon and finding his true love. It’s such a heartwarming tale. There’s nothing more amazing than being able to tell people your secret and being accepted for who you really are. The movie delves deep into the experience of one’s coming out. For instance, in the movie, Simon comments, “It doesn’t seem fair that only gay people have to come out. Why is straight the default?” It reflects his exasperation over the fact that he has to become known but not his straight friends. Though the movie portrays such complex aspects of coming out, it tells an amazing love story of Simon and his online pen pal Blue. The movie is exceptionally refreshing and deeply moving.
God’s Own Country (2017)
Francis Lee’s debut feature God’s Own Country presents the story of two young men slowly bonding with each other in a pastoral landscape. Johnny Saxby labours on his struggling family farm in Yorkshire under the critical eyes of his sick father. His world is shaken up a bit when Gheorghe, a Romanian immigrant, arrives at his farm, who is extensively experienced and competent in tasks Johnny is entirely indifferent to. The effect Gheorghe has on Johnny’s character is a striking aspect of the movie. In the beginning of film, the Johnny we see is cold, harsh, and apathetic. However, at the end, we find him to be a caring person who is determined and more vocal about his emotions. It’s as if his experience of love with Georghe healed parts of him and brought out his soft sides. This movie’s peaceful bucolic setting will surely remind you of another beautiful love story – Brokeback Mountain. To conclude, God’s Own Country is a taciturn tale of love which gives us hope.
These are some of the LGBT movies that tell extraordinary love stories. We should watch them and understand those who are different from us and normalise their queerness.
Riyad identifies as a cinephile. He loves travelling, listening to music, and learning foreign languages.