Holding the Man does the book justice. It could have easily been a Tele-movie. We’re lucky it isn’t. There was always an idea to have a film made but not many ever thought it would come to be. And here we are some 20 years after the book was published and I now realize that If Tim and John were alive today they would be the same age as my parents. If the film played out in a linear fashion then we would have been able to grow with these characters through their life journey, however, we would not of known what was to come if we hadn’t read the book or read a synopsis of the film. So perhaps the slicing of the time frames was beneficial to the story line, hard to say. The film purely focuses on the relationships and seldom delves into the perception of the Aids crisis in the outside world or how it was being perceived, generally, outside of who these characters interact with. This is perfectly fine as it doesn’t detract from the overall plot. Holding the Man dives into these two characters who instantly grow to love one another, explore their sexuality and fight for their common struggle to be recognized for who they are. The characters poignantly remind us, unlike heterosexual people in that era of Australian society that they had to fight for their love, they had to fight for their freedom for their love, all the way until death did they part.
The acting performances are brilliant. And it was nice to have cameos from Pearce and Rush but probably did add anything to the overall film. Though, Anthony La Paglia did an exceptional job in portraying Mr Caleo (John Caleo’s father), his disappointment, bewilderment portrays in the characters emotions a never-ending confusion as to why his son is who he is, he seems to despair why his son can love another man, as the character is of Italian heritage and was colloquially known to be unfavorable to homosexual people.