Rift explores queer love on screen in unique way

By Yasmine Morris

Have you ever been so in love that you imagined that that person was there with you or in dire need of your help? Have you ever experience a love, unfinished, quiet and forgettable yet unerasable? 

Rift, a foreign film, directed by Erlingur Óttar Thoroddsen, not only broadcasted the sincere love amongst queer characters but also brought in a wave of suspense and mystery unlike any other film.

Through it is a love story plot, Rift also showed the darker parts of life and how the effects of love can be blinding. Rift started with the memory of an unfinished romance between Gunnar (Bjorn Stefansson) and Einar (Sigurdur Por Oskarsson) who, despite no longer being together, were unable to ignore the the heavy tensions that they carried from their previous relationship. Gunnar tries hard to let go of the past he had with Einar but by trying to bury his memories, Gunnar only made their impacts stronger.

Rift, unlike most conventional LGBT-centered movies, showed the love between two queer people without depicting lust and sex first. Thoroddsen exposes how the love amongst the two is no different from the love between two straight characters. The emphasis on the confusion of love and the hold one can have on the other is shown greatly. These two characters apart were searching for something they could not find within each other, whether they wanted to admit it or not. In the end, these two characters were bound to each other. This movie shows how the bond of two people can result in an experience that is everlasting.

Even though there was an intense love story, Rift wasn’t all about the tortures love brings. It was majorly centered on a major mystery dealing with an twisted murder. Rift sparked major confusion due to the reason behind why one of the characters died and the strain it had on the relationship that was reestablished.

Due to the men’s different personalities they clashed a great deal which was the result of their separation. Einar, who was young and in search for an eventful life, felt empty due to his childhood. This feeling of emptiness was consistent throughout his and Gunnar’s relationship and, as a result, he clung to Gunnar even more.

Gunnar, being a more restrained person, hides many things about his present relationship status as he goes back to help Einar through this troubling identity crisis. Gunnar tries hard to suppress all memories of Einar but by doing this it makes what they had much harder to get past. Gunnar, being older and wanting a more subtle life, detaches himself from his emotions.

Overall Rift is a movie that requires one to think at their deepest capacity. It is filled with unsaid and unexplained problems. If the purpose of the director was to show a twisted love story infused with many outside characteristics that are unsolved, then he did an amazing job with that.