Can I just say that I wish we'd just seen Seven Pounds or Doubt? Not that MILK is bad, it's actually good. It's enlightening, smart and very nicely done. It's my date that I kept worrying about. He couldn't handle the movie gracefully. He was like a kid tortured in his sleep without any hesitations to react and shift his positions for the whole audience to notice. I sincerely thought he'd really walk out and leave me there. Actually I silently prayed that he would do just that than release any possible outcry in the middle of the movie.
Milk has an extraordinary cast. Sean Penn is made for movies with deep substance because he brilliantly gives life to the characters just like what he did with Harvey Milk, an openly gay activist who is the first one to hold a major public office in San Francisco California, in a time when bigotry against homosexuals was high. Mr. Penn quickly dissolved into the shoes of Harvey Milk that one would easily forget that he played a father, a surfer dude in his younger days, a retard and a toughie in some of his famous movies. In this movie, he becomes gay and exchanges intimate scenes with James Franco and Diego Luna, yes there are numerous kissing scenes, but that is not the point. Aside from thinking that they are so naturally done that one would end up wondering how these very masculine actors were able to do it, one would appreciate the passion and sincerity of being in the characters' shoes if you go past cringing.
James Franco plays Scottie, a younger lover, who holds the subtle strength in the movie. He is an anchor and a sense to the over passionate and bubbly side of Harvey. Even though he played a gay dude there, I find him very cute and endearing. Never really had a crush on him when he played the Green Goblin, but ironically, I think I "crush" him in this movie. Gone were the days of teeny bopper roles. He may be the next Johnny Depp as they would say, with the rich and extreme characters he has played (Spiderman, Pineapple Express, Tristan and Isolde), he has proven to go beyond the junkie, leading man, superhero role. He has gone brave and artistic.
I also want note the supporting cast, whom I know are NOT entirely gay but played gay characters wonderfully, giving life without holding back. There's Emile Hirsch, the artistically acclaimed Diego Luna, Allison Pill, Stephan Spinella and Lucas Gabreel amongst others. They gave truth and a live memory of what homosexuals went through, specifically in San Francisco Castro Street. They educated us of how politics for their kind works and even to the point of reflecting how lucky I am to be spared of fighting for the same rights to live, to enjoy life, to achieve justice and to make a living. These rights weren't always accessible to them.
The film Milk would try to STRIP you off ones bigotry against homosexuals. It's a history lesson of the most recent past done in a heartwarming, acting driven biopic that everyone, with the heart and bravery to watch, will appreciate.
But I must admit some failed to look at the deeper meaning.
My movie date, instead of being enlightened, was enraged that I took him with me. We both perfectly knew that it's a biopic about a gay activist, but we were both innocent to whatever intimate scenes it would present. (Pause) Well, fine I did expect a smack, an exchange of kiss here and there, but it's hardly a cause of panic. For every kiss, for every hug and suggestive scenes he would squirm like he was being tortured. He grew angry and failed to look past the those scenes throughout the entire movie. Instead of being enlightened, now he is ultimately uncomfortable around them. He greatly represented the protagonists in the movie, the ones who believe that gays shouldn't exist because the world did not intend to create their "kind." As far as he is considered, there is only a HE, a SHE and IT, nothing in between.
Now I feel bad for two reasons. I feel bad because he didn't enjoy despite that I paid for the movie, and I felt bad because he slightly hates gays now. He just wanted the movie to be over and he kept on telling his friends how they couldn't be able to handle it, like he had the worst guy experience in his life. Being his friends, they agreed and urged him to buy FHM to sweep off any gay memories in his head. Exact thing that Harvey Milk was fighting for, bigotry I'm seeing in the flesh.
While walking on the parking lot, I let him rant. He is entitled to his own opinion anyways. I just didn't expect him to be feeling much worse about the homosexuals' plight. He pointed out arguments from the protagonists and how much he agreed with it. For some reason I felt happy because at least he paid attention to the movie, but thinking how he sides with the "oh-so-almighty" majority really bothered me. That wasn't supposed to be the "effect" of the movie.
I carefully inserted my views about it, hoping that he would see the light. For one, I don't mind educators to be gay, as long as they're not encouraging nor flamboyant. As long as they're discreet and have the student's safety and academic achievement as their main priorities, there is nothing wrong with gay teachers. I don't mind them owning their own businesses as long as it's legitimate and beneficial to society. I don't mind them having their own bars, enjoying leisurely walks with their lovers as long as they don't do PDAs (on heterosexual couples, same thing apply).
It's true that in a gender sense, there's only a HE or a SHE. That God created only two citing every argument in the Bible. But strip off the subject of gender and sexual preferences, we're left with one common thing. We're all HUMANS. Therefore, I don't see why homosexuals are deprived of HUMAN RIGHTS. There's a lot of difference between homosexuals and criminals. They have every right to be on earth as much as we heterosexuals do. Homosexuality is not a disease nor a weakness. That's what the movie is telling us. We might not agree with their lifestyle and we might certainly be entitled to our own opinions, but in the matters of human rights, we should all have the same stand in it.
I also hate it when people use GOD as the main reason for justifying hatred, deprivation and alienation. Let homosexuals be accountable with GOD if that is the case. Who are we to act as an OIC (Officer in Charge) of GOD, to deprive them of their rights. Strip off everything, we are left under one category. We're humans and as humans we must protect each and others' rights. We're not GODS to do otherwise, unless we prove to the world that we're talking to the Lord, listing his specific orders.
We may not understand the lives of homosexuals or how some people determine that they are one, but the fact is that they EXIST. We've come as far as talking to them, sharing the world with them and witnessing a great force that their kind brings. There is no point denying them of what is rightfully theirs, which is also what is rightfully ours. No more. No Less.
Oh and one more thing, after all that's said and done, make sure that you have an open mind and just in case, watch it with someone who is willing and ready. Otherwise the movie would fail magnanimously no matter how brilliant the actors, the plot and the purpose may be.