Where the Real Ends
Drew Lint is a Canadian filmmaker who is not afraid to push the envelope. “M/M” is his debut feature and it is an edgy experimental thriller that appears to be loosely based on his own life. Matthew (Antoine Lahaie) is a drifting Canadian has moved to Berlin and is settled into a new life. However, he is lonely. One day he meets Mathias (Nicolas Maxim Endlicher), a very good looking German who makes a living as a model for statutes. After their first Grindr exchange, Matthew becomes totally obsessed with the charismatic stranger and starts to stalk him.
This is a metaphysical drama in which there is a blurry line between reality and imagination so we do not really know how much obsession takes place in Matthew’s mind and this is what makes the film so intriguing. Matthias is everything Matthew wants to be.
His intense infatuation takes on a different turn when Matthew starts to copy Matthias in any way he can. First, he cuts his hair in the identical style, then starts to wear the same clothes, but then after Matthias is hospitalized and in a coma after a near-fatal motorbike accident, Matthew grabs the chance to actually subsume his life.
Fiction is much weirder than reality, but this is the life that Matthew prefers. Director Lint has said that this film is all about an outsider’s opportunity to embrace any new identity that he feels that he wants, and he has shaped his take on this by being somewhere on the borders between drama, video art, and music video. The young talented leads are great to look at and they provide distraction when the plot, despite the infusion of techno music, seems to almost come to a halt at times.
This is an erotic drama that really stretches one’s imagination as well as his patience at times. Matthew’s obsessive power struggle between the two, careens toward brutal passion and violence in a bid for dominance.
This is a film of unique contrasts. We see hot queer bodies entangled together, but against the drab, heavy grey sky of Berlin. We become part of extreme explorations of identity and desire, but with an underlying familiarity. The film is surreal, but completely grounded in truth and naturalism. This is a film that cannot really be spoken about if it has not been seen.