Sometimes, a character in a film can act so stupidly and illogically that it makes whoever is watching want to reach into the film and strangle this character, hoping it will bring some sense into him/her. Testosterone's Dean Seagrave (David Sutcliffe, Under the Tuscan Sun, Two or Three Words) is one such person. Yes, he is emotionally unstable for much of the film, but even after taking this into account, he is so dense, and some of his actions are so nonsensical that it sinks the film. An uneven tone that wavers between dark comedy and drama also fails to help.
Seagrave illustrates graphic novels, and he is distraught over the loss of his lover Pablo (Antonio Sabato Jr., Wasabi Tuna, Shark Hunter), left Seagrave without giving any reason. Seagrave follows Pablo back to Argentina, hoping to get some explanation and rekindle their romance. Pablo's mother (Sonia Braga, Empire, Angel Eyes) rebuffs his every effort to meet Pablo. Instead, he meets Sofia (Celia Font, Ashes from Paradise), who works in a café outside Pablo's house. She and her brother Marcos (Leonardo Brzezicki) knew Pablo as kids, and both know more than they are willing to say about his whereabouts. She and Marcos also competed for his attention, and Marcos at one point was Pablo's boyfriend.
Testosterone is based on James Robert Baker's novel, adapted by Dennis Hensley and directed by David Moreton (Edge of Seventeen). It does not do anything to further the canon of so-called 'queer cinema.' The fact that the two protagonists are gay doesn't really matter. The brunt of the story is that Seagrave is looking for Pablo. Unfortunately, he seems to forget this. At one point, Sofia asks him "do you know why Pablo came back?" At another point, Marcos tells him "this is as far as I can take you." Any normal person would respond with, say, "WHY?" Or, "What do you know?" Instead, Seagrave changes the subject completely. His attempts to find Pablo are feeble, and consist mainly of standing outside Pablo's house looking plaintive. Because he does this so often, it really begins to grate on anybody watching the film. It also means that a lot of the film consists of nothing. There is some back and forth between Seagrave and Sofia, and Seagrave and Marcos, but like pretty much everything else in the Testosterone, it amounts to nothing.
Near the end, Moreton takes a dark turn, and has the Seagrave character go over the top with his actions. This just makes no sense whatsoever. The only explanation is that his emotions are reaching a boiling point because he is so close to finding Pablo, yet something always seems to stop him, but this doesn't gel. The actions would be funnier if the tone was more consistent (or Seagrave's IQ was higher). The worst part of Testosterone is the resolution. There is a definitive resolution, and when Moreton reveals it, it is a huge let-down. What the heck was the point of the film if it was going to end like this?
|Mongoose Rates It: Pretty Bad.|
|1 hour, 45 minutes, Not Rated but contains language, nudity, and some sensuality, an easy R.|
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