2005
Rated: PG-13 for adult language, drug use, and violence.
Genre: Arthouse/Foreign Drama Comedy
Directed By: Neil Jordan
Running Time: 2:09
Review by: Felix Vasquez Jr.
Review Date: 2/06/07
Special Features:
Audio Commentary - Neil Jordan - Director; Cillian Murphy - Star
Behind the Scenes - Featurette
BREAKFAST ON PLUTO

 

I submit to you that if there’s a film that can perfectly express the notion of gay pride, “Breakfast on Pluto” would properly fit that ideology. Because, there’s never been a film before that’s depicted its flamboyantly homosexual main character before as something other than a caricature, gag, or sex joke. The character Patrick Braden is so utterly in tune with his own nature that he comes off more as an avenger and true symbol than as someone who is simply gay. Patrick knows he’s gay, dresses as women quite often, and simply will not be knocked down by people who fear his differences, because he enjoys what he is. “Breakfast on Pluto” is pretty much a film in the vein of “Forrest Gump” with our special main character experiencing all sorts of events and odd characters along the journey to their own self-fulfillment, and coming of age. Cillian Murphy drops himself into this role and disappears into the character of Braden who worships Mitzi Gaynor based on the fact that he’s told his mom looked like her.

It could be said that perhaps Patrick became a woman to compensate for the lack of the mother presence he desired in his life, but he takes this and uses it to create a strong sense of character, getting by on his wit, and unflinching charm. “Breakfast on Pluto” is a basic gallery of some of the best British actors in modern cinema with Murphy, Liam Neeson, Stephen Rea, Brendan Gleeson and the like. All respectively put in very good performances.  

But Murphy, who I am a huge fan of, takes a very interesting turn here as this homosexual cross dresser who uses his optimism to reach people gay or straight, and seems to attract everyone. That is due in part of his own confidence and inability to accept that as a man he’s supposed to be a man. “Breakfast on Pluto” stands as an example that pride in who you are is something you can’t let people break. Whether you’re gay, straight, disabled, or different, keep the pride, and be happy with yourself.

“Kitten” is one of the most admirable characters ever depicted on-screen. He is a man who longs to be a woman, and doesn’t hate himself for that. He uses that as a way of knowing that he’s forever special and individual. Jordan begs the question, if someone is preaching love, peace, and pride, what does it matter if they’re gay, lesbian, straight, or a transsexual? Jordan’s direction is wonderful with surreal images of Kitten’s psyche, and his attempts to combat the world of cruelty and hatred, through fantasies and great music. I enjoyed “Breakfast on Pluto” in all of its originality and whimsical atmosphere.

Sadly, Jordan creates such a fantasy aspect about Patrick/Kitten, that he’s unable to full flesh him out as a relatable entity. “Breakfast on Pluto” becomes so lost in its own whimsy, it never fully creates a humanity about Patrick and keeps us at a distance in our attempts to discover why Patrick becomes the way he becomes. There’s no solid rhyme or reason, so Patrick remains disconnected from the audience at all times, and Kitten never becomes as complex as we hope or expect in its running time.

In spite of dragging the story longer than it should, “Breakfast on Pluto” is an entertaining and original piece of filmmaking with great performances from an all-star cast, and from Murphy who dives into this transsexual character and disappears into a character who only wants to live her life and love.

 

 

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