Entertainment » Movies

Sequin In A Blue Room

by Rob Lester
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Sunday Sep 22, 2019
'Sequin In A Blue Room'
'Sequin In A Blue Room'  

Nobody would accuse the protagonist of "Sequin in a Blue Room" of oversharing. No, T.M.I. is not the M.O. for this sad-eyed soul whose withholding nature does him no favors. The first word of this atmosphere-drenched Australian-made/Australia-set film's title is the name he goes by, chosen for the material making up silver apparel he favors. It's as shiny and bright as the movie is (often) gloomy and dark.

Sequin is a 16-year-old on the fast track to trouble with a one-track mind: Hunting for sex, sex, sex all the time. And that's made oh-so-easy by his ever-present cell phone's apps. Off he goes, texting and sexting back and forth with seemingly unlimited prospects eager for anonymous physical encounters. Bored in school, he sneaks glances at that phone screen: Who's also ready and willing for a "just lust" dalliance? Audiences likely won't miss the irony that the teacher is leading a discussion on great romances in literature.

Hook-ups emphasize hang-ups about possible follow-ups: None will be considered. Sequin's seemingly impenetrable self-made wall protects him from emotional connections, having the kind of sturdiness and quick build that Donald Trump's coveted border wall could never match. Partners are disposable: Their attempts at subsequently contacting him are simply ignored and then efficiently blocked with the touch of a button. Sequin presents himself as ready to be ravished, a twink gone in the blink of an eye. The discovered sex wonderland location, a.k.a. Blue Room, lets filmmakers gorge on azure colors - lights and shadows, moodily milking atmosphere, with mostly discrete cuts and facial close-ups of passion, posing, prowls by men in towels, tryst-ready.

When a classmate dares conversation, cold-fish Sequin gives the cold shoulder and cold stare. At home, Sequin's welcoming dad returns home, glumly gets a similar silent treatment. The boy slumps upstairs quickly, closing his bedroom door. Is anger boiling? Is this red-headed teen hot-headed? Will the ginger snap? Co-writers Jory Anast and Samuel Van Grinsven (the latter of whom also directs) present us with more questions than answers. What's the backstory of the disconnects, extreme closed-off nature, what happened to Mom? Crucial audience sympathy factor is jeopardized by this vacuum and selfish behavior of our central figure, but actor Conor Leac - in his screen debut - engenders curiosity and caring with the hurt, hesitation, and hauntedness communicated through his eyes and sighs.

Sometimes wake-up calls are called for. Knights in shining armor lurking behind drag queen make-up, outshining sequined apparel? Is Sequin's emotional armor ever-present, worn whether vested or bare-chested? Is shining amour lurking for hints of potentially happier tomorrows? Can steely staring eyes be blinded to all of this? Stay tuned.

ROB LESTER returns to Edge in 2019 after several years of being otherwise occupied writing and directing musical theatre shows, working as a dramaturg, arts consultant, and contributing articles and reviews to various outlets. His long-running "Sound Advice" column covering cast albums and vocal CDs has been running regularly at www.TalkinBroadway.com for almost 15 years.

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