Tom and George
Tom (Joshua Michael Payne” and George (Timothy J. Cox), are a couple that has been together for many years, but at present the two men are facing a serious issue in their relationship. George serious about his career and had a successful professional life. Tom, on the other hand, behaves as he did when he was a young man in his 20s and only wants to party. This is begun to take its toll on Tom’s connection with George who tries to get Tom to pay attention to him yet keeping enough of a distance so that he can with his own situation.
toll both personally and on his connection with George. Trying desperately to regain Tom’s attention while also allowing him the necessary distance to resolve his own inner turmoil, George arrives home one night to find one act of simple, straightforward kindness and love awaiting him, heralding a new turning point.
writer/director/producer/editor Tan See Yun has been able to do in about six minutes what some full-length features have not been able to do and without a word spoken and in black and white. He brings us two characters and is able to develop them so that they are real and relatable. The themes of patience, never giving up on those we love, and being willing to not always try to step in and fix things ourselves stand out are all handled wonderfully alongside of two excellent performances. The narrative is presented through the two characters is by facial expression and body language in very effectively understated but no less affecting delivery
George wants to fully commit to Tom while Tom, who seems to be more concerned with keeping himself young and does not seem to what that commitment or does he? He struggles trying to come to a decision and really influences him is the and this is lets him move forward and leave his younger self behind.
Cox and Payne use of simple body gestures and their eyes are able to communicate the emotions within.In not speaking or communicating with each other, we get the impression that each man has gone his own separate ways and the silence reflects their relationship. The black and white of the film also seems to reflect the dullness in the relationship.
We see the two men as opposites with George as the adult and Tom as the child. Yun uses flowers, meals and chess to tell the story of the two men and their relationship. We see George replacing dead flowers with new ones and making a move on the chessboard while Tom ignores the game board and puts his mind on eating the breakfast that George prepared for him. A little while later, we notice that the chessboard has been reset and once again the flowers have been changed. Undoubtedly this is a reflection that something has happened.
Tom has a vision of George in a park asleep on a park bench with a chessboard opposite him and an empty chair is in front of the table. There is a cane on the ground near George. What Tom sees here is the future and his partner, George, all alone and seemingly lost. It is then that Tom decides that he needs to invest in his relationship. We instantly see the message of having to be able to talk to one another if we want to have a relationship that does not stagnate and die.
Timothy J. Cox turns in a perfect performance as he shows his feelings and emotions without having to say a word. He totally moves us. Joshua Michael Payne matches him Cox with his own wonderful performance.
Tan See Yun provides us with the power of images and with no vocalization, we are left to draw our conclusions as to why this relationship is not working. It is almost like being a voyeur and spying on George and Tom. to push us along and provide an answer, we search through what Yun allows us to spy to find out why.
Yun, in effect, mirrors life with its flaws and Mark Boyle’s stunning cinematography absolutely conveys the story. I can only hope that this film will be seen by many. Personally, I think it would make a wonderful addition to those LGBT short film anthologies that have become popular over the years. This is so much more than a film, it is an experience.