We all know that life can take you into so many (unexpected) directions very fast. Finding love when you aren’t looking, having to deal with an sudden and tragic loss or discovering a whole new world that will open your eyes are only a few occurrences we’re all familiar with.
This is absolutely also the case for Marius, the lead character in ‘The Lawyer’, but the happenings in his life might not be as ordinary as you think. Based on this intriguing, captivating and loving film from writer/director Romas Zabarauskas (“We Will Riot”, “Porno Melodrama”), Marius’ life is everything but ordinary!
Meet Marius (Eimutis Kvoščiauskas), an extremely successful corporate lawyer, who’s living a quiet life in Vilnius. While he’s not winning over clients with his charisma, charms, and flamboyance, he entertains his friends during fancy dinner. Dating isn’t the biggest priority in his life but he’s absolutely not afraid of dating younger men and enjoying multiple casual hook-ups.
However, it seems that his days as a player could be over soon when he meets Ali (Doğaç Yildiz), an in Belgrade based refugee, on an online sex cam network. While at first, their ‘relationship’ might just be purely based on sex, it doesn’t take long before feelings set in. Even more so when Marius learns that his father has passed away due to which he’s looking for a shoulder to cry on.
After being attracted to Ali and needing someone close to him, Marius makes the journey from Lithuania to Serbia to meet Ali in person. There he doesn’t only learn that Ali could indeed be the partner he could spend his life with but also that Ali is a refugee who can’t get the support and asylum he needs due to being bisexual.
While Marius is specialized in corporate law, he’s trying to do whatever he can to help out Ali. However, will his emotions stand in the way of his professionalism or will Marius be able to put his affections aside to make sure that Ali finds help in the best way possible?
That the current times aren’t easy for anyone became clear during the previous weeks. Sadly, for director Zabarauskas and the cast and crew of “The Lawyer”, it went from bad to worse when this beautiful and gripping film didn’t get its world premiere at the BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival.
During our interview with Zabarauskas, he mentioned that some distribution deals are being made. We hope that those deals will be sealed as soon as possible because “The Lawyer” is a feature you need to see. Here’s why!
First of all, Zabarauskas is certainly not afraid of touching upon different topics and raising important questions at the same time. Of course, there are the usual topics of romances, friendship, sexual desires and looking for the meaning of life. However, there are also more intriguing and remarkable ones such as the political status of refugees, the LGTQ+ rights in different countries in Europe and the exploitation of sex workers.
There might also be even some questions that will linger on long after the credits stopped rolling. Questions such as “is the relationship between Marius and Ali genuine?”, “Is Marius just in it for the sex” or “Is this for Ali just a means to an end to get a better life?”.
Second of all, it’s also because of the impeccable chemistry between Kvoščiauskas and Yildiz. Zabarauskas mentioned that during the casting process he decided to do a chemistry test. By doing so, he wanted to make sure that the chemistry between the actors was spot-on. Well, that’s exactly what it is. Both Kvoščiauskas and Yildiz give such a big amount of authenticity and real-life aspects of this movie.
Just like his character, Kvoščiauskas (“Tobulas Pasimatymas”, “O, ne! O, taip!”) puts on a very charismatic, emotional and fascinating display. On the surface, Marius seems like a rough, tough and macho man but thanks to Kvoščiauskas we see that even he as a more sensitive and touching side.
Yildiz brings an even more passionate and in-depth performance as the refugee who doesn’t only want love and friendship but also another life. One that’s less distressing, difficult, and injustice than the one he’s living now.
It’s thanks to cinematographer Narvydas Naujalis (“Isaac”, “Code of Tumas”), that all these emotions and heart-breaking moments are being put on a screen in a very stylish and captivating way.
The colours that are mostly used in this movie are black and grey which gives such a polished vibe to this movie. Of course, there’re also the vivid colours which bring that more exuberant, flamboyant and arty elements to life.
After his 2016 film “You Can’t Escape Lithuania”, Zabarauskas is now taking us back to Vilnius in “The Lawyer”. His latest movie turned out to be a visually stunning, unique and honest one about social challenges, identity, and LGBTQ+ rights.