If you’ve seen Eternals – currently the No. 1 movie in the United States – you’ve likely seen the kiss that was banned in three countries (a commendable stand by Disney, as long as one understands if any of those countries had the economic weight of, let’s say China, then that kiss would have been excised post-haste.
Though what’s interesting is how chaste the scene actually was.
I don’t know what Brian Henry Tyree’s (Phastos) sexual preferences are though I recall seeing an interview with his co-star, Ben Sleiman, around the time he did Those People in 2015, where he said he was very much gay, so I don’t quite understand why the scene felt so forced and awkward.
After all, look at the story of Phastos, who behind the scenes helped shepherd humanity into the Atomic Age – and the devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, making him it could be argued a less game Werner von Braun – decides that humans are no longer worth trying to save, and washes his hands of us.
At some point he meets Ben and falls in love, and decides to build a family.
I mentioned Hiroshima and Nagasaki earlier though what I didn’t mention was that Phastos was literally at Ground Zero after the bomb fell, and was devastated in a similar fashion.
People of the same sex expressing their love in a manner typically accepted by non-gay couples is not something easily accepted by many in countries that allow it, never mind those that don’t, though that kiss needed to embody everything that Phastos went though.
You can see what Chloé Zhao was trying to do, but I just don’t think that it worked.