Fanfic (2023) Movie Review – A decent albeit unremarkable LGBTQIA+ flick

A decent albeit unremarkable LGBTQIA+ flick

Fanfic is a decent albeit unremarkable LGBTQIA+ film from Poland. While the messaging is good and the visuals are great, narratively this one feels weak and it’s propped up by a loose romance that doesn’t really have the sparks necessary to make this story spark.

Fanfic is certainly not a bad film though but given the premise promises an “intense connection” between two high school students, this one fails to live up to that billing.

The story predominantly revolves around angry, rebellious teen Tosia who’s struggling to find her place in the world. She finds her life surprisingly entangled with Leon, who similarly has trouble adjusting and fitting in.

As the two grow closer together, Tosia discovers that she’s actually more comfortable in Leon’s clothes, and makes the bold decision to change his identity to Tosiek. Together, the pair find themselves navigating through xenophobia, various setbacks and, ultimately, embracing who they really are together and individually.

There’s absolutely no denying that Fanfic’s story has a great message about identity, and finding oneself. At times there are echoes of 2003’s movie, Thirteen, but instead of the intense, realistic depiction of lost souls trying to make sense of their lives in that movie, Fanfic struggles to follow suit.

The story is rather weak overall, and there are several unrealistic segments that are contrived enough to feel shoehorned into the narrative. Teachers belittling students is certainly one of the more egregious examples of this.

A lot of the supporting characters are also just sorta… here. Konrad pops up when the plot calls for it, while Tosiek’s partner in class, Roksana, barely features beyond a couple of revealing bits of dialogue. At times, this feels like a box-ticking exercise of plot clichés, which is a shame. You have the misunderstanding, the fall-out, the race to find one’s love and a myriad of other tropes that are all mechanically thrown into this film, one after another.

Aesthetically though, Fanfic looks great. The cutaway black and white scenes with Tosiek’s band and trying to find new members and make sense of one’s world is a lovely inclusion and the rebellious punk rock echoes that of Tosiek’s fiery persona.

There are also a couple of Euphoria-esque sequences too, with Tosiek whisked off to a giant heart in space and even seeing holograms of herself and Leon in another, all feeding into the excellent visuals this one has at its core.

Those after more LGBTQIA+ content will certainly find a lot to like in Fanfic and Tosiek’s journey to finding himself is actually well written. It’s just a shame that everything around that feels perfunctory and blasé to the point of dragging the narrative down from the heights it so easily could have achieved.


Read More: Fanfic Ending Explained

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  • Verdict - 6/10

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