M has always been handsome. He’s tired of the staring, the distrust and the propositions. Tired of the scorn he’s received for complaining about it. Before he leaves town, he’ll invite a select few to visit his drugged, unconscious body. Each has 40 minutes to do as they wish. His lovelorn friend, Aaron, reluctantly agrees to protect him throughout the process. “You can touch him all you want but nothing that will leave a mark.” Why is M doing this?
Mild spoilers ahead for a film that’s short on plot.
Entropic wants to say something about objectification. The visitors offer sex, violence, threats and teary confessions. Few of the actors get the chance to make an impression. A repetitiveness sets in. Aaron concludes that “most people’s desires are pretty boring.” So why the feature length? What does the film say in 86 minutes that it couldn’t in 20?
It turns out the visitors are the B plot. The real story is M’s attempt to “cure” Aaron of his unrequited love. To shatter the fantasies that sabotaged their friendship. The film is reaching out to the Aarons of the world. Those of us who’ve built an identity around our “plainness.” Pop culture gives us conflicting messages. We can “love ourselves” and find our “confidence.” Or we can “improve ourselves” and achieve beauty through “hard work.” We’re “enough” but we’d better “bring something more to the table.” What if it’s all an illusion? What are we left with? Without hope?
Writer and Director Robert W. Gray films M like the shark from Jaws. We get glimpses of a shoulder, a leg, as we wait for a full view. The actor, Stephen Huszar, is a Christmas romcom hunk with all that entails. So, what do we want of him? And why would he rather vanish than date Aaron? Is invisibility what the M’s of the world long for?
And what of poor Aaron? Will this give him closure? Or will it leave a wound that never heals? I can tell you from personal experience that unrequited loves leave scars. Whether they intend to or not.
Entropic is an amateur film for a niche audience. Both erotic and pretentious. But I can’t stop thinking about it. If the premise resonates with you than give it a watch. Read interviews with the creative team here. You can find my other reviews on The Avocado and Letterboxd. My podcast, Rainbow Colored Glasses, can be found here.