Love is always worth fighting for, but it’s also messy, maddening and utterly painful to deal with, particularly when you’re young and trying to find your place in the world.
C.M. Birkmeier conveys these feelings through raw, intimate passion in his new film "In Bloom," a powerful drama that depicts a profound relationship between two men in their 20s during one unforgettable summer in Chicago.
The film begins on December 20th, 2012, as a young man named Kurt (Kyle Wigent) arrives at a "judgment day" themed party. To his surprise, his ex-boyfriend, the equally attractive Paul (Tanner Rittenhouse) is also in attendance, filling the air with tension as they sit down on a couch and converse. Based on their awkward banter and remorseful tones, it’s clear that these two have had a painful falling out.
The film then flashes back six months prior to the event when Kurt and Paul were still dating, taking us into the beginning of their devastating downfall. Kurt works as a pot dealer while Paul is employed as a grocery clerk, and while they have deep affection for one another, it’s clear that Kurt is depressed, confused and adrift, longing for that dynamic spark he felt when he first met Paul in which their infatuation for one another was euphoric beyond measure.
Once Kurt starts dealing to a lustuous new customer named Kevin, his unquenchable thirst for something new begins to overwhelm him. He spirals downward into a state of self-loathing and confusion, threatening the very core of his relationship with Paul, whose love for Kurt has remained as strong as when they first met.
The DVD contains no special features apart from a few theatrical trailers for other independent pictures, which is a shame considering that Birkmeier is an unquestionably talented new filmmaker with a unique visual style that perfectly serves the gritty, brutally honest themes of love and loss that are explored in this powerful, beautifully acted gem. It will linger in your heart long after it’s over.