Fei, a young migrant makes a living as a male sex worker in the big city. Three things upturn his life: he gets romantically involved with a client which soon assumes disastrous proportions; his family members back home get to know about his lifestyle; and he is joined by a childhood friend who also wants to get into the profession.
The director eschews overtly dramatic treatment in favour of a gentle flow and nuanced characterizations to deliver a scathing commentary on the prejudices that prevail against homosexuality in most societies, the perils of the profession, and the adjustments that LGBTQ persons have to make in a conformist and repressive society.
Written and directed by debutant C. B. Yi, MONEYBOYS (2021, Taiwan) is streaming on MUBI.
Ranjan Das is a Mumbai based filmmaker & faculty