MARDI GRAS FILM REVIEW | Tomcat

A stunning Austrian film, in German with subtitles, about two guys (Lukas Turtur and Philipp Hochmair) who’ve found a wonderful life together in Vienna.

There’s nothing unusual or particularly special about it, just an overwhelming sense of contentment and shared joy in the daily things of life: good friends whom they often have over dinner, interesting jobs that clearly cover the bills, their pet cat Moses who’s an integral part of the household, a devotion to classical music which they play and listen to, a passionate sex life.

Unremarkable as it is, their life is full of simple joys and spellbinding because of it.

Easy nudity threads throughout the film; no barriers between them, no barriers between them and us.

It’s a beautifully wrought character study. The shared life between them, the social exchanges with friends, the exquisite practice sessions with the orchestra are all pretty magical.

Then something totally unexpected happens.

Peaceful domestic existence is shattered by one of the men, and we’re in as much shock as his partner.

It’s brutal and distressing and comes out of nowhere.

Tomcat screens at Mardi Gras Film Festival on Thursday, Feb 23 at 6.30pm at Event Cinemas George Street and on Sunday, Feb 26 at 6.30pm at Cremorne Orpheum. Details, tickets tix.queerscreen.org.au.

Can they rebuild their life together? Do they want to? Do we want them to?

Can he forgive? Could we forgive?

Writer-director Händl Klaus has carefully woven these guys into our hearts and we, too, feel every bit of the outrage.

It’s a very worthwhile film, with no easy resolution, though the end is tinged with hope.

There’s even a subtitles gag, when one of the guys asks the cat: “Moses, are you mewsical . . . ?” Which clearly wouldn’t work without subtitles.

  • Tomcat screens at Mardi Gras Film Festival on Thursday, Feb 23 at 6.30pm at Event Cinemas George Street and on Sunday, Feb 26 at 6.30pm at Cremorne Orpheum.
  • Actor Philipp Hochmair is a guest at the festival.
  • Details, tickets here.