This Is Not A Love Song

Gay fugitives retrace a path taken by generations of doomed lovers on the run in this bleak crime drama. Veteran crook named Heaton (Kenny Glenaan) has sorely missed his younger lover, Spike (Michael Colgan), though he never visited Soike in prison or mailed the love letters he composed. Spike, who's none too bright, has just finished a four-month stretch...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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Gay fugitives retrace a path taken by generations of doomed lovers on the run in this bleak crime drama. Veteran crook named Heaton (Kenny Glenaan) has sorely missed his younger lover, Spike (Michael Colgan), though he never visited Soike in prison or mailed the love letters he composed. Spike, who's none too bright, has just finished a four-month stretch for a petty crime he committed on a lark, and Heaton picks him up in a stolen car. The men fall back into the rhythm of their previous relationship, but Heaton resents Spike's recklessness, and Spike can't get past Heaton’s failure to come see him in prison visit him. Their car runs out of gas near Redhouse Moor, and Heaton has a run in with a gun-toting farmer. Despite Heaton's orders to stay out of sight, Spike turns up after the farmer locks Heaton in a shed and steals a rifle, with which he accidentally

shoots the farmer’s daughter. Spike and Heaton take to the woods in a panic, quickly followed by a posse organized by local big shot Bellamy (David Bradley). As they avoid the vigilantes, Heaton tries to protect the child-like Spike,

who's terrified. But when Heaton injures his ankle, Spike toys with the idea of

saving his own neck. The safe haven of the city lies ahead and the hunted criminals elude the expert trackers for a while, but the greatest threat to their freedom is their own psychological turmoil. This is a rare example of a thriller that uses an intensely naturalistic style without undermining the story's suspense. Bille Eltringham's actors seem to speak off the cuff and cinematographer Robbie Ryan sometimes uses his handheld camera to suggest their jittery viewpoint. Although the manhunt is enthralling, it's the shifting relationship between Spike and Heaton that keeps you in your seat.

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