“The Accompanist” Queer Film Review – A Fantasy Mystery That Address a Lot of Pain

The Accompanist film
The Accompanist (Image: Screengrab)

I have been looking forward to watching The Accompanist ever since I got to know about it a couple of months back. Being promoted as a magical romance/mystery film, The Accompanist handles a lot in its limited running time.

I was provided with a free screener of The Accompanist for review. The opinions I have shared are my own.

Trigger Warning: This review talks about an abusive relationship.

I shared the official trailer for The Accompanist back in May. In that article, I mentioned the number of award recognition this queer film received. So, of course, I wanted to watch and share my opinion. Also, I’m a bit biased when it comes to ballet. I can enjoy hours of footage showing people learning ballet or putting on impressive ballet performances.

That’s where The Accompanist offered me a lot to enjoy. Written, directed, produced, and composed by Frederick Keeve, the music and ballet sequences are masterfully done. I couldn’t get enough of them.

The premise deals with Jason Holden (Frederick Keeve) trying to cope with life after a serious tragedy. Working as a maestro at a local ballet school, he ends up playing the piano for a young ballet dancer named Brandon (Ricky Palomino) who wants to get ready for an important audition. The two bond and fall in love. However, there are certain complications. Jason’s dealing with a lot of guilt because of what happened to his family. And Brandon is stuck in a toxic relationship that he’s unable to leave because he feels his abuser needs him.

There’s a lot this film tries to address in the approximate hour and thirty-minutes long running time. We get an abusive relationship, the inability to move on due to guilt, not facing your past, and much more. In my opinion, I think Brandon’s relationship with his abuser was handled quite well. 

The way Brandon’s incapable of walking out on Adam (Aaron Cavette) made a lot of sense to me. The manner in which Adam would hurt Brandon only to then say he loved Brandon and make him stay felt way too real. I appreciated this film showing just how toxic such relationships can be.

Also, I have to say that, to me, Aaron Cavette looked like the lovechild of Brian J. Smith and James Marsden.

As for the magical aspect of this movie, it’s revealed that Jason has the ability to heal others. Now, I do think the film could have done more to explain his power. At first, I thought he could only heal while playing the piano, but then it was as if he could access some of his power by simply touching another person.

Maybe I missed something? I’m not sure.

I did like how his healing powers didn’t work as one might expect. He can’t necessarily cure what you wanted him to. Jason’s healing ability focused on healing a person’s biggest emotional trauma instead of getting rid of a physical ailment. I think that’s why the time-traveling aspect was involved in his powers.

But, then again, a bit more explanation could have helped. Also, Brandon was too willing to believe Jason had superpowers. Maybe it was because he wanted to feel closer to Jason, or maybe because he saw a golden light while listening to some of Jason’s music?

It was kind of ironic that for a person who can heal others, Jason continued to live with the guilt of what he had done to his family. The twist involving his trauma was expected, but I still liked it unfold onscreen when it happened.  

The pacing might be a bit slow for some and certain viewers might not like how Jason and Brandon’s relationship developed. Even I wasn’t a fan of certain moments between them. However, as a whole, I appreciate The Accompanist telling a story that’s full of pain and how tough it can be to find the strength to forgive yourself. And as I have mentioned already, the music and ballet sequences are just amazing.

A sequel is in the works.

From Dark Star Pictures, The Accompanist was made available On Demand on June 2, 2020, in the US.

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.

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