Based on the enormously successful stageplay of the same name, Bent follows the lives of two gay men - Horst (Lothaire Bluteau) and Max (Clive Owen) - who are imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp as a punishment for their sexuality. It all starts promisingly enough as director Sean Mathias paints an uncompromising portrait of Berlin club life, all flamboyant artistes and writhing orgies - not to mention the unforgettable image of Mick Jagger, hanging from a trapeze, in drag, singing The Streets Of Berlin. But Horst and Max's harrowing ordeals in the camp betray Mathias' history of directing for theatre - each sequence is tightly choreographed, as though the actors are confined to the limits of a West End stage. Although this claustrophobic approach intensifies the sense of angst, you become baffled by just why the director was given the go-ahead to bring the play to the big screen.
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