From BAFTA nominated writer/director Kanchi Wichmann – who last brought us the off-beat lesbian drama Break My Fall – comes the equally stylised lo-fi rom-com, Mixed Messages.
It follows thirty-something Ren as she navigates her way through a year on the queer scene in Berlin and struggles to find connection in the post-trendy world of polyamory, BDSM and militant veganism.
The film percolates a quirky, awkward humour full of community in-jokes and character types that are instantly recognisable – like the secretly pining best mate and the drunk girl who’s always lost something. It captures the quiet agony of dating and making a fool of yourself for the faint glimmer of love or sex.
What struck me most was the aesthetic diversity of the film – the characters are a rich variety of body-shapes, ethnicties and gender identities that seemed like a realistic and celebratory portrayal of the queer community and a refreshing antidote to the straight-washed, euphemised filters we’re so used to seeing applied to our stories. The variety of international accents and the constant language switch between English and German effectively captures the cultural melting-pot that is Berlin.
Mixed Messages has a gently fluctuating plotline and decides to put most of its focus on character and conversation. The rolling pace and the cinematic cut-aways of European life makes it feel like a super gay Before Sunrise; except instead of a burgeoning romance between two people, it’s a frantic search for connection between one hopeless romantic and an ever-revolving circuit of potentials and disasters. It’s an irreverently honest and rough queer love story that will be highly relatable to a lot of people.
Find out more here