Tribeca Film Festival Review: Query addresses the social norms of sexuality in a disarmingly comfortable manner

*Due to the current global crisis the planned 2020 Tribeca Film Festival has been postponed. The AU Review has been in contact with the respective representatives for available films in order to give them the coverage they intended.

Much like the recent slate of short films that were intended for this year’s SXSW Film Festival, Query is a production that proves there’s still plenty to say in a select amount of time.

A discussion on the norms of sexuality, and where both the heterosexual and homosexual formations lay within the scope, Query seems to delight in the fact that it asks more questions than it answers.

There’s an intimate, natural manner to the way director/co-writer Sophie Kargman frames this story, presenting it as a day-in-the-life of two best friends who clearly are at comfort with both themselves and each other.  Initially a verbal jousting match between Alex (Graham Patrick Martin) and Jay (Justice Smith) over whether or not it’s instinct or societal pressure that drives their sexual inclinations, the day unwinds towards a conversation that effectively tests their own theories.

As the topic of sexuality is of interest to most people in some form or another, it’s commendable on Kargman’s end that she addresses the spectrum of such in a way that’s disarmingly comfortable.  A man that identifies as heterosexual appearing comfortable to both admit to finding another man attractive and suggesting an act that could be construed as homosexual isn’t the most standard representation, though given the more open-minded, fluid mentality of the generation, Query could unknowingly be the jumping point for future cinema to present their leading men with a more open-minded view on sexuality.

Given how naturally Martin and Smith play off each other, it’s unsurprising that their characters have such an ease and understanding to their relational flow; despite both characters presenting as straight however, the briefest of glances suggest an underlying sexual tension that both had been waiting to act on.  And, in another nod to Kargman’s slant on the expected, Jay being portrayed as the more masculine persona against Alex’s sensitivity (he spends a decent amount of the running time on the phone to his girlfriend) doesn’t act as a predetermination on their reactive response to the film’s choice in having them theorise their sexual inclination.

A film that will hopefully give birth to a wide array of conversational pieces regarding the normalities of sexual preference – although, what is normal anyways? – Query is deceptively smart storytelling, packaged as a casual exchange that travels deeper than you expect it to.

FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

Peter Gray

Film critic with a penchant for Dwayne Johnson, Jason Momoa, Michelle Pfeiffer and horror movies, harbouring the desire to be a face of entertainment news.

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