Queer 52: He Loves Me (Konstantinos Menelaou, Greece, 2018)

Konstantinos Menelaou writes and directs He Loves Me, which puts the fragile relationship of a gay couple under the microscope. Set in the Greek wilderness, He Loves Me, is free from dialogue and instead uses the inner-monologue of one half of the couple to power the narrative.

After various ups-and-downs from infidelity to arguments, an unnamed couple (Hermes Pittakos and Sanuye Shoteka) attempt to restore the value and core heart of their relationship in the midst of a remote Greek beach.

With Thanos Lekkas providing the inner-monologue narration vaguely depicting the reason for this disintegration and a the painful longing for these romantic wounds to be healed – it feels as if we are given a deeply introspective insight into the small beats and pulses of this fractured dynamic. The lack of audible dialogue also gives He Loves Me an undeniably experimental and voyeuristic feel blurring the lines between art piece and cinematic narrative, whilst this is artistic angle is further enhanced by the sharply exquisite cinematography. 

The barren yet beautiful landscapes of abandoned beaches, crystal clear seas and scorched rocky ground captures the alienating divide between our protagonists, whilst also providing a sensory feast for the eyes. Parallels between immersing oneself in nature, and the natural erotically-charged relationship between these men give He Loves Me a hazy dreamlike aesthetic which adds to the lusty, longing tone of Menelaou’s film. 

Praise should also be given to Hermes Pittakos and Sanuye Shoteka who impressively capture the smallest notes and nuances of the narrative in two well-pitched dialogue free performances. The fractured, but inherently loving relationship between these men is seen as they swim in the sea, walk together, kiss or make love. It’s elegantly handled with a rich artistic, erotic flair by both actors.

Likely to be divisive due to its experimental approach, He Loves Me is an impressive introspective art piece worth of your time. Piquant cinematography, bold performances and an introspective tone help ensure He Loves Me is one of the most interesting queer releases in recent years.

He Loves Me is available on DVD from TLA. It is currently streaming on Dekkoo.

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