Directed by: #RobertCairns
Poised: To weigh something by using a balance.
Life is about balance; a balance of work and play, love and hatred, truth and deceit. It creates a bubble of comfort and protection around us.
Poised exposes us to this unconscious emotional protection. Through the adaptation of a true and powerful story it demonstrates how, when these bubbles collide and fracture within the narrative of life, our balance can become corrupted by reality.
Set in the bustling city of London, Aris, a gay occupational therapist discovers his life thrown off balance when his innocent love affair unravels into a far greater and consuming circumstance.
Winner of Best LGBT Film at the London International Film Festival, Poised takes a fresh approach to homosexual relationships in film. Director, Robert Cairns, appears to avoid an emotive LGBT film, redefining the stereotype of the contemporary indie LGBT ‘genre’. The film celebrates the fluidity of love across gender, class and social status, but does not force this theme beyond the narrative. As such the film depicts the human condition and remains relatable and powerful to all.
While indie stereotypes are used elsewhere within the film such as slow cinematic shots and significant contrasts of colour to differentiate mood, they remain complimentary to the experience.
With varied pace and imagery, the film immerses us into the microcosmic narrative of a love triangle.
However, through these contrasts Cairns demonstrates an ability to ground the delicate topic of love within a typical fast-paced urban environment. As such, the cinematography is well balanced with the narrative.
Setting, style and narrative might bring this film close to home, but on occasion, non-diegetic music interferes. For instance, a somewhat bland but upbeat piano sounds as Richard (Luca Calvani) contemplates leaving his extremely sick wife, Anna (Johanna Taylor), at home alone. While this may appear a niggle in the grand context of the film, it dilutes the intensity of this scene and breaks our immersion. Consequently, we must again become immersed in the film which takes time and ultimately weakens the impact of following scenes. That said, the diegetic sound was indispensable to contextualise the narrative setting and mood.
Yiannis Alexiou’s performance of Aris’ is convincing and appropriately layered. From Aris’ performances at his acting classes, his relationship with colleagues and patients, to his love affair with Richard, Alexiou’s executes a multidimensional character that realistically adapts to his environment. It was not surprising to learn that Alexiou’s is also credited for the screenplay which is equally layered and convincing.
There is a rare fluidity between style, narrative and performance within Poised; realism created through clear interest and devotion by the partnership of Cairns’ and Alexiou.
Poised is a sensitive and balanced story of love and heartbreak. While technical uncertainties may make an appearance, they are soon lost under the narrative weight. It explores places and paces, popping our bubbles and immersing us into the universality of love, and the human condition.
It is a film about love, made with love, to be loved.
Watch the official movie trailer for Poised below.