"The Visitor" compensates for its lack of production value and its slightly banality by being genuinely sexy. Rather than relying on tons of gratuitous nudity and graphic sexuality, it builds a momentum in the courtship of the two leads that gives you a deeply sensual experience. Sadly, outside that, not much happens in the film.
Cibrâil (Sinan Hancili) is a soft-spoken Turkish-German immigrant. He is a driven police officer but has restless nights and extra energy he spends working out. His girlfriend Christine (Martina Hesse) is oblivious and happy. When her cousin Marco (Engin Sert) arrives, Cibrâil’s restlessness grows into fascination and then unbridled passion. But can this affair be true love?
Hancili does convey a sensitivity and subtlety of a man who hasn’t really explored or confronted his homosexual urges. His sexual awakening feels authentic rather than just a guy struggling to stay straight. It’s as though the audience can see that he’s gay before he does. Sert also portrays a gay man that’s a sloppy and lazy "dude" vaguely reminiscent of Adam Pally on "Happy Endings."
The film does feel super indie at times. Production value shortcomings aside, many of the non-sexual/romantic scenes feel very quotidian. The scenes end up playing like home movies with people having coffee, talking about nothing in particular. As sexy as the actors are, they are not as dynamic as they could be. They do not transcend the language barrier to really engage a non-German audience. There are also doubts as to how engaging it can be even to an audience in that language.
The DVD of the film includes English and French subtitles. It also features a trailer of the film. Sadly, it does not include any additional features that might offer more insight into the director’s intentions or the experience in making the film.
Ultimately, "The Visitor" does have a scrappy folksiness that does have you root for it. Luckily, the film is par. It’s sexy, the leads are sympathetic, interesting and authentic. That authenticity is what makes the sex scenes more enticing and the love story more engaging. However, outside the main relationship there are scenes that weigh the movie down with boring moments.
"The Visitor" is a sexy and engaging gay film. It can drag on at times, but it does manage to not be overworked or sloppy, and the authenticity makes it an enticing addition to the gay cinematic world.