Twilight’s Kiss has an almost documentary like feel to its “gay and gray” story. The drama follows an older closeted pair of older men that have led hetero-normative lives. This includes having wives and children and not letting anyone know they are gay. When 70 year old taxi driver Pak meets 65 year old Hoi, the two contemplate giving it all up for a future together.
Watching the two men come together leads to some tender moments. What starts as a rendezvous at a gay bathhouse progresses. Hoi invites Pak over to his home and cooks him dinner. In turn, Pak asks Hoi to come to his daughter’s wedding banquet. Since the two do not have much time to spend together, they work with the opportunities they have.
It is in these touching scenes that Twilight’s Kiss also introduces one of the film’s key conflicts. While Han is a divorcée, Pak is still married to his wife of forty years. Though his relationship with his wife is strained, he is a proud father and grandfather. Along with not letting their disapproving families they are gay, the two are also involved in an extramarital affair.
The personal film does an excellent job of building the relationship between the two. Twilight’s Kiss has a premise that can easily become overly dramatic. Director Ray Yeung tells a intimate story that is more about two lives coming together. As Twilight’s Kiss continues, both Pak and Hoi struggle with a difficult question. The two have spent decades building their “normal” lives. Is it worth hurting so many people they truly love so they can be happy together?
In order to make the decision more difficult, the movie shows what their manufactured lives have done for them. Not only have they built families, but they have also constructed support systems. Their home lives have protected them from questioning eyes. Even more importantly, there is much about their current lives they are happy about.
Twilight’s Kiss also has a subplot that showcases the importance of finding love later in life. Hoi works with a group of elderly gays who are out and alone. They work to establish a gay nursing home so they can spend time with others who will accept them. There is a sense of wanting and loneliness that could just as easily be Pak and Hoi.
Over the years, queer cinema has found more representation. One place it has been lacking is in representing older gay people. There has been a welcome change recently. Movies are no longer limited to young hot gay couples. Films like Twilight’s Kiss show that there is a space for queer older people.
Twilight’s Kiss opens at the Film Forum Virtual Cinema February 10 and expands Virtual Cinemas and Premiere Video on Demand February 19
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