Many LGBTQIA+ narratives often delve into the aspect of acceptance. Be it the acceptance from others or oneself, they try to explore how a queer character makes these choices. Recently released Red, White & Royal Blue took a compassionate route while speaking about the process of coming out. ‘Of an Age,’ written and directed by Goran Stolevski, simultaneously delves into different factors of one’s identity. Kol, a Serbian immigrant in Australia, enters a brief and intense romance with Adam.

Through the film’s visceral experience, we witness what it must feel like to accept oneself in the face of constant rejection. He felt rejected as an immigrant and as someone who could not fit into the heteronormative norms.

Spoilers ahead. 

Of an Age (2022) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:

What is Goran Stolevski’s ‘Of an Age’ about?

‘Of an Age’ is an Australian romantic drama film that is hard to put into a category. On one side, it is the story of Kol (Elias Anton), a Serbian immigrant in Australia, struggling with being accepted. A sudden change of events at a pivotal time of his life introduces him to Adam (Thom Green). After spending a day with him, Kol starts questioning and accepting parts of himself that he may have never dared to explore as openly before. Anton and Green’s masterful acting performances, seen through a majority of close-ups by cinematographer Matthew Chuang make it a rewarding and deeply moving film.

How do Kol and Adam meet?

Nikola Denic, aka Kol, is just a few weeks shy of being 18 years old. He is supposed to perform a dance with his friend, Ebony Donegal (Hattie Hook), at the Civic Centre. Unfortunately, she wakes up on a beach that morning and only then recalls her eventful night. While Kol rehearses his performance at home, she calls him and asks him to pick her up. He speaks about their performance as if his life depends on it. Maybe he saw it as his way of reclaiming dignity. She asks him to go to her friend Tari’s place to get her dress on the way to pick her up.

Adam and Kol

Tari’s sister, Jaya (Senuri Chandrani), connects Kol on a call with Ebony’s brother, Adam. Before handing over the phone, Jaya calls Kol a gay kid, which he finds slightly offensive or pretends to. Finally, he speaks with Adam and asks him to help him with the trouble. Adam arrives at Tari’s house and picks Kol up. Still, Kol’s stress knows no bounds. After a flustered introduction, he slowly starts to ease up, thanks to Adam’s charming humor. Along the way, they start speaking about their pasts and the future. The play that Kol is supporting Ebony with is supposedly her way to a prestigious institute of dramatic arts. Adam jokes about his sister’s ambition, relieving a bit more tension between him and Kol.

Adam lights up a cigarette and offers it to Kol. He refuses it. Adam calls Kol a ‘good boy’ but makes sure it does not spoil their bond. Then, he plays a music track (Astor Piazzolla’s Prologue – Tango Apasionada) in the car. Kol mentions he is reading a book by Argentinian author Jorge Luis Borges. That brings the topic of Kol’s background to the discussion.

While Kol briefly points out his love-hate relationship with Sarajevo, Adam mentions he wants to move to Buenos Aires – because of Wong Kar-wai’s Happy Together. Kol slowly opens up about his adverse family life, how war brought them to Australia, and his desire to get his uncle out of the equation. Through his dark joke, he reveals his disdain toward his present life and his desire to escape.

Adam’s Sexuality

Of an Age (2022) Movie Ending Explained - HOF
Thom Green and Elias Anton in Of an Age (2022)

Once the music stops, Adam suggests Kol can put on a tape from a box on the back seat. He mentions that this box belongs to his ex. Kol assumes that his ex is a girl, and Adam does not immediately object to his assumption. It almost feels like he understands Kol’s closeted life and does not want to evade his boundaries just then. But right before they reach the beach to pick up Ebony, Adam clarifies that his ex is a ‘he.’

That changes their dynamic in the further journey, where Kol suddenly falls silent. Adam asks him whether he has a girlfriend or whether he is interested in Ebony that way. Through that, he tries to get Kol to open up. Eventually, Kol starts to tease Ebony for making them lose their chance to perform. Adam joins Kol in annoying his sister. So, she suddenly jumps out of the car in anger.

Ebony & Kol

Kol gets out and apologizes to Ebony. She confesses that she did not get NIDA. He calms her down and tries to make her believe in her acting skills. Once they return home, Ebony’s mother gets furious at her. Kol, meanwhile, goes up the stairs to Adam’s room. Because of his stress, he ends up taking a long nap on Adam’s bed. Then he changes into Adam’s clothes. “It’s totally okay to be gay,” he says.

Adam chuckles. Kol clearly tries to make himself accept it – ‘It’s totally okay to be gay.’ While driving Kol back home, Adam briefly talks about his ex. Kol mentions how he is three things – Serbian, Bosnian, and Yugoslav. There is always something that keeps making him question his identity.

Beyond the heaviness of these political matters, Kol fights a personal one. Neither he nor Adam understands how to say goodbye. It’s as if they finally acknowledge the brewing sexual tension between them throughout the day. If Ebony had not made a bad decision the previous night, would they have ended up crossing paths?

Would Adam have mattered to him as much? Would he have questioned or taken a step to embrace his identity? Kol walks toward his family, thinking about the man he left behind. Still, he wears Adam’s shirt, which keeps him in a restless in-between state. He isn’t sure whether to act on his impulses or not.

Later that evening, Ebony invites Kol to a party. Turns out, it was Adam who asked Ebony to do so. It was his way to spend at least a few more moments with Kol. While Adam tries to make Kol feel at home, other white folks make him feel increasingly alienated with their racist remarks. Afterward, Kol gets in Adam’s car. Adam suggests he should not be friends with Ebony and that he deserves someone better. On the verge of tears, Kol mentions he has no other friends. Adam talks about his formative years at a time when hardly anyone accepted since they were not heterosexuals.

Of an Age (2022) Movie Ending Explained:

The Reunion

The day ends on an emotional crescendo, where Adam and Kol finally share a kiss and have sex. They both find joy that they cannot contain. Unfortunately, the next morning isn’t as charming. They have to say goodbye and acknowledge their impending distance. A few years later, in 2010, they crossed paths again. In the middle of the Icelandic volcano apocalypse, they both end up in their Australian town.

Right before, Adam was in Guatemala for work related to his aid organization. By then, Kol started working in public health research at Bristol University. He reveals that his uncle disowned him after learning about his sexuality. Adam understands that Kol has nowhere to call his own in the town. On that day, Ebony is about to get married. So, despite Kol’s slight hesitation, Adam invites him. Only then Kol learns about Adam’s marriage, which breaks his heart.

Kol feels betrayed and hurt. Instead of staying at Adam’s family house, he decides to leave immediately. Later, at Ebony’s wedding, Kol sits far away from Adam. Still, they both cannot help but steal glances. Kol suddenly decides to join Ebony for a dance that attracts the eyeballs of the entire room. Once the frenzy of celebration starts to fade, Kol’s uncontrollable sadness returns. He walks out of the venue to find Adam following him. Kol learns about Adam’s new partner and how they met.

He cannot help but think of the feeling of how his life almost froze after what he experienced with Adam years ago. Throughout his later life, Kol cherished that special feeling. After being emotionally naked to each other, neither can understand what they want from one another. In Kol’s hotel room, they hold each other. Adam’s last words for Kol are – ‘My beautiful boy.’ In the end, the film isn’t about the reunion of two lovers in a generic manner. It rather shows how much they mean to one another.

Read More: The 15 Best LGBTQIA+ Movies of 2022

Trailer:

Of an Age (2022) Movie Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes
The Cast of Of an Age (2022) Movie: Hattie Hook, Thom Green, Elias Anton
Of an Age (2022) Movie Genre: Romance/Drama, Runtime: 1h 39m
Where to watch Of an Age

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