Fellow Travelers Movie
Fellow Travelers Movie by Hawkins Fuller (Matt Bomer) is first seen by the audience at a farewell party in the middle of the 1980s. He has a worn appearance, with tan blotches and thin grey streaks dotting his temples, and an unnaturally tight grin pasted over his face. He greets visitors with a practised air of familiarity and then poses for photos with his family and the party’s cake. He seems like the picture-perfect American success story—until he turns around and sees an old friend whose presence may destroy all he’s worked for.
Hawk’s ex-lover and buddy Marcus Hooks (Jelani Alladin) reveals that Hawk’s new pal Tim (Jonathan Bailey) has asked Hooks to give Hawk an antique present. In addition to the ’80s hairstyles, we learn that Tim has been diagnosed with AIDS because of his discussions about finalising his financial affairs and the repeated query, “How bad is it?” Before he goes, Marcus says, “You have a wonderful family. Wonderful existence. I pray it was all for the best. After that, we go back in time to 1952, when Hawk and Tim initially meet. They exchange subtle flirtations at a party and then separate ways, but their final looks at each other’s faces indicate that they will see one other again. The spark of that instant sets in motion a twenty year quest for love and acceptance between the two.
In this adaptation of the 2007 book of the exact same name, “Fellow Travellers” really gets going when it flashes back to Tim and Hawkins’ first encounter. From there, it’s easy to see how drastically Hawk’s 1950s and 1980s lives vary from one another. At first, we see him living a joyful, attracted to the opposite gender life, but soon we see that it has become solidly regular. He starts his day as a State Ministry official in a dismal office and then heads out to meet a mystery guy for love encounters. Later, on the way home in the night, he is not accompanied by anybody.
Hawk and Tim run into one other once in a park, and this time Hawk looks genuinely impressed by Tim’s desire to use his political career for good. He gets Tim a position as an intern assistant, but his perpetual upbeat attitude ends up causing tension between them. They go right into a relationship and, eventually, emotional connection. Their roles as attracted to the same gender men working for the state throughout the Purple Affair period, as well as their differing ideas and emotional maturity, quickly become a source of tension. Tim notices a significant scar on Hawk’s shoulder blade and harbours doubts about his genuine politics, leading him to conclude that they may not be ready to connect on a deeper level than their bodies.
In sleep together one night, Tim says, “I just wanna know you,” and Hawk grins and tells him that he already does. Hawk views love as a way of knowledge, but for Tim, it is neither the starting or ending point of a relationship. Tim’s friendship with a lesbian coworker just highlights how different they are as individuals. Tim is now able to see his future as a member of the LGBTQ community. In the 1980s, while Tim is being cared for by Marcus and his drag queen-turned-activist partner Frankie (Noah J. Ricketts), among others, the importance of community becomes a running theme. Tim’s community is what keeps him going in his last weeks and months. The knowledge that there are individuals who care about me and take campaigning and LGBT life seriously gives him the confidence he needs to keep going.
On the contrary hand, Hawk seems to have gotten increasingly more reclusive with time. His son and him have a more strained connection than Hawk had with his own father, and his spouse Lucy (Allison Williams) appears to know less concerning him than Tim. This lonely existence is the result of his inability to connect with others. By staying in the shadows, he risks falling farther into a pit from which he may never be rescued. Tim and Hawk become closer than they ever had before against the drug-fueled, disco-hued background of the 1970s as the years pass and tragedy after tragedy befalls both men.
Matt Bomer has his strongest performance as Hawk in years, but there’s no denying that Tim is still the show’s beating heart due to Bailey. Bomer is a show-stopper from the moment we meet him, with his unsettling grin and menacing demeanour when others get in his way. His glares are so penetrating that it’s as if he’s staring right through the screen, making it hard to take your eyes off of him or remain unimpressed by his skill. Bomer portrays Hawk’s underlying melancholy with startling ease, which lies behind his rage and propensity for duplicity in later episodes.
Asking, “Did you come here to ask for forgiveness?” Tim asks Hawk this early in the show, and it seems that way for a while. Hawk doesn’t appear to mind that Tim is more tactile or that he wants more from the relationship. However, as the plot develops, it becomes evident that Hawk is also impacted by the pressure to keep their connection secret, despite his initial indifference to it. He tries to soothe Tim by showing that he, too, appreciates their friendship by giving him cufflinks engraved with his initials. These cufflinks are Hawk’s way of declaring his love for Tim to the world, but they are less formal than a wedding band. Although they cannot live together in the same way that attracted to the opposite gender couples do, Tim and Hawk may become even closer if he accepts Hawk’s gift to indicate that he is his.
Thankfully, the people behind “Fellow Travellers” perfectly grasp the inextricable connection between LGBT people and love. The closeness among Tim and Hawk is stunning from the very first love scene, in which their bodies violently collide, to subsequent moments in which their skin integrates together like molten gold amid white sheets. The show’s uncompromising honesty in exploring queerness, in contrast to that of some of its counterparts in the gay movie and television world, renders romantic scenes nearly unbelievable. In episode seven, there’s a scene when Hawk and Tim visit a attracted to the same gender cruising place in the 1970s, and it perfectly exemplifies the attention to detail on display throughout the whole programme. As the two make their way through the woods, glimpses of people can be seen through the openings, their skin glowing as if they were in a heavenly garden bathed in sunlight.
Every flaw on every body is highlighted, and every exchange between the characters is treated as if it were crucial. Unlike other miniseries that try to cover too much ground in too few episodes, this one uses every second well. Although they play secondary roles, Marcus and Frankie nonetheless give depth to the adaptation’s exploration of homophobia and transphobia. Everything about life in the shadows—from pub raids to mysteries and deception—bears a great weight on the upper body of each individual, a weight so crushing that they all finally give way.
While concealment and secrecy seem to predominate, be assured that every detail has a purpose. This is a narrative about the complexities of regret and affection, and how they play out in various ways for different individuals throughout the decades we see. The relationship involving Tim and Hawk is a central aspect of the programme, and its development is never sidelined or lost in the shuffle. One of the year’s finest miniseries.