Beyto (Switzerland, 2021)

A man comes to grips with his identity and his family traditions in this gripping film from director Gitta Gsell.

Beyto is a Turkish man and college swimmer living in Switzerland. Knowing he can improve, the coach asks Mike to help train Beyto. Mike, an openly gay man, agrees to train Beyto. Beyto helps Mike with his day job of food delivery and the two soon bond. Beyto finally admits his feelings and he and Mike start a relationship. However, Beyto cannot tell his parents as they are too traditional in their ways. When Mike and Beyto consider moving in together, Beyto’s parents have a surprise for him.

Beyto is forced to go to Turkey supposedly to visit his grandmother. However, upon his arrival, he becomes shocked that his parents had arranged for him to marry a local girl, Seher. Extremely upset and forced into a situation he never wanted to be a part of, Beyto must tell Seher the truth about his love for Mike. When they return to Switzerland, Mike learns the truth about Beyto and is visibly upset. Soon things come to a head when Beyto finds himself conflicted between Mike and Seher.

This Swiss LGBTQ film is both heartwarming and emotional with writer-director Gitta Gsell telling the story of a young man who is forced between love and his family’s old school traditions. The film definitely shows a three-act film with the first showing the titular character and his bond turned relationship with Mike. The second act involved Beyto’s surprise marriage to Seher; and the third is the aftermath when Beyto and Seher return to Switzerland.

Burak Ates is excellent in the role of the titular Beyto, who is proud to be gay and in a relationship with another man. However, it is his parents who do not understand. In one scene, his mother brings in a sort of hypo-criticism when she tells Beyto her feelings on men having relationships and yet calls a fellow Turkish woman too conventional. Dimitri Stampfer’s Mike comes across not so much predatory but someone who comes to respect and eventually love Beyto and their relationship is quite very heartwarming to see, even when they are faced with the conflicts they must endure.

Ecem Aydin is quite the twist to the story as Seher, Beyto’s childhood friend who becomes his wife in the surprising second act. While Beyto sees Seher as someone he loves in a different way, she does find herself conflicted when she learns the truth about Beyto, she finds herself as not only someone who is heartbroken, but worse a fish out of water and she has never seen Switzerland and finds herself lost both figuratively and physically. This leads to a very shocking finale that is thrown out of nowhere but elevates the film as a whole.

Beyto is both heartwarming and emotional elevated not only by the performances of the three leads, but a shocking finale that will make this one LGBTQ film to talk about.

WFG RATING: A

Dark Star Pictures presents a Lomotion/Sulaco Film GmbH production. Director: Gitta Gsell. Producers: Magdalena Welter, Louis Matare, and David Fonjallaz. Writer: Gitta Gsell. Cinematography: Peter Guyer. Editing: Bernhard Lehner.

Cast: Burak Ates, Dimitri Stapfer, Ecem Aydin, Berent Tuna, Serkan Tastemur, Zeki Bulgurcu.

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