Sequin in a Blue Room: Review by Jack Cline

From Australia, this is a stylised and very sexy odyssey that follows a young man as he confronts a culture that values instant gratification over a relationship. It’s a visceral movie, as writer-director Samuel Van Grinsven reveals the story and characters mainly through tactile imagery and underlying feelings. And it has the riveting hint of a thriller about it.

At the centre is the 16-year-old Sequin (Conor Leach), who claims to be 18 on the hook-up apps. His one rule is that he never sees the same man twice. Then he’s invited to an anonymous sex party, where he connects strongly with a hot guy (Samuel Barrie). But contacting him afterwards is forbidden, and it puts him at risk from an older man (Ed Wightman) who begins stalking him.

The film looks gorgeous, as light ripples off of the sequinned shirt this young man wears like armour. The camera sees everything through his hormone-charged perspective, which makes it often feel dreamlike. And the actors are terrific as unusually complex characters. Their offhanded magnetism grips the attention, especially as things get increasingly tense, mainly because Sequin clearly isn’t as in control as he thinks he is. And because the themes remain gurgling under the surface, the film has a startlingly powerful kick.


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