In from the Side Film Review Cheat Once Try Again

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In From The Side: A Unique and Authentic Take on Queer Cinema

Matt Carter’s directorial masterpiece, In From The Side, goes beyond being just a “gay sports film.” It delves into the lives of gay men involved in rugby, offering a fresh perspective in queer cinema. With a focus on complex storylines that extend beyond sexuality and self-discovery, the movie captivates viewers with its stunning visuals and emotional depth. Although the film occasionally meanders, it manages to convey its central themes effectively, leaving a lasting impact on the audience.

A Gay Rugby Club and Its Intriguing Dynamics

The protagonist, Mark (portrayed brilliantly by Alexander Lincoln), finds solace playing for the ‘B’ team of a gay rugby club. However, off the pitch, he feels disillusioned with his relationship with Richard (Alex Hammond), which lacks emotional intimacy. Mark’s life takes an unexpected turn when he encounters Warren (Alexander King), a member of the club’s ‘A’ team, during a post-match gathering. Their initial encounter quickly escalates into a passionate affair, complicating matters due to Warren’s long-term boyfriend, John (Peter McPherson), who is also a teammate. The film beautifully intertwines the rugby elements with the complex relationships, creating an authentic portrayal of these characters’ lives.

A Passionate and Authentic Filmmaking Endeavor

Director Matt Carter’s passion for inclusive rugby shines through In From The Side. The movie strikes a perfect balance between showcasing the sport’s authenticity and capturing the essence of the relationship drama. Every frame feels naturalistic and genuine, from the muddy training sequences to the pulsating nightlife scenes. The cinematography expertly contrasts the moody colors of the matches with the sepia-toned intimacy of Mark and Warren’s moments together. In addition to Carter’s artistic vision, Alexander Lincoln delivers an outstanding lead performance, captivating the audience with his on-screen presence.

A Film with Moments of Brilliance and Some Flaws

While In From The Side excels in several aspects, it falls slightly short in its narrative execution. The film’s runtime begins to drag after the first hour, mainly due to the underdevelopment of the supporting characters. The introduction of emotionally charged themes, such as infidelity and guilt, hints at deeper exploration. However, the film doesn’t fully explore these complexities, resulting in a meandering storyline. Moments like Mark and Warren’s elaborate date at the fair and a sequence in Switzerland, though visually captivating, divert attention from the film’s core message. These narrative detours prevent In From The Side from reaching its full potential.

A Relationship Challenged by Guilt and Selfishness

In From The Side aims to portray a passionate relationship marked by guilt. Alexander Lincoln wonderfully captures Mark’s internal struggle, making the audience empathize with his character. On the other hand, Alexander King’s portrayal of Warren sometimes comes off as selfish and oblivious when they are not consumed by physical desire. The film misses opportunities for meaningful discussions between the characters about their actions and the consequences of their affair. While the relationship feels intense, it lacks the necessary depth to fully engage the audience in their emotional turmoil.

Breaking Stereotypes: Beyond a “Gay Sports Film”

In From The Side goes beyond the conventional “gay sports film” genre by portraying gay men participating in rugby without being defined solely by their sexuality. The movie avoids clichéd coming out scenes or perpetuating homophobia. Instead, it presents rugby as a sport enjoyed by individuals who happen to be gay. The film includes a powerful opening montage that showcases rugby as a gritty contact sport, highlighting the camaraderie between teammates. This inclusive representation of sportsmanship provides a refreshing and realistic perspective where unity prevails over stereotypes.

A Personal and Authentic Filmmaking Achievement

Matt Carter’s In From The Side is an intimate and genuine creation. Despite some narrative flaws, the film showcases Carter’s ability to infuse a story with personal passion and authenticity. The movie serves as a remarkable low-key debut for the filmmaker, displaying a deep understanding of the emotional complexity required to engage viewers. While the film occasionally meanders and falls short of fully grasping its intended message, it undeniably leaves a lasting visual impact.

An Emotional Journey That Transcends Labels

In From The Side invites viewers on an emotional journey that transcends labels. It challenges traditional expectations associated with a “gay sports film” genre by exploring the complexities of relationships and the struggles of individual identity. By blending the rugby element with captivating storylines, the film succeeds in captivating audiences beyond the LGBTQ+ community. In From The Side is a testament to the power of cinema in breaking stereotypes and providing inclusive narratives.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I watch In From The Side?

In From The Side is now available to watch on digital platforms and video-on-demand services. Check your preferred streaming platform or rental service for availability.

2. Is In From The Side suitable for a high school audience?

While the film deals with mature themes and contains intimate scenes, it offers an authentic portrayal of relationships and personal struggles. Parental discretion is advised, and educators are encouraged to review the content to determine its appropriateness for high school students.

3. Does In From The Side address issues of homophobia in sport?

In From The Side presents a refreshing perspective by focusing on the camaraderie and inclusivity within the gay rugby club. The film intentionally avoids depicting homophobia, highlighting the positive aspects of sportsmanship and unity among teammates.

4. Are there plans for a sequel or continuation of the story?

As of now, there are no official announcements regarding a sequel or continuation of In From The Side. However, the film’s impact and positive reception may pave the way for future developments or spin-offs.

5. What other films can be recommended for fans of In From The Side?

For fans of In From The Side, other emotionally resonant LGBTQ+ films worth exploring include “Moonlight,” “Call Me by Your Name,” “Brokeback Mountain,” “Weekend,” and “Carol.” Each of these films offers unique perspectives and powerful storytelling that delves into complex human experiences.


In From The Side defies expectations, serving as a quintessential example of queer cinema that extends beyond conventional boundaries. While the narrative occasionally loses focus, the film’s passion for inclusive rugby and authentic portrayals of relationships shine through. Director Matt Carter expertly captures the emotional turmoil of the characters, but also leaves room for improvement in exploring deeper themes. By breaking stereotypes and offering an inclusive perspective, the film becomes a source of inspiration for both the LGBTQ+ community and audiences seeking authentic storytelling. In From The Side is a must-watch for those who appreciate thought-provoking cinema that challenges societal norms.