Those of us who are familiar with the entertaining and insightful films of Lithuanian filmmaker/activist/righteous dude Romas Zabarauskas, who is the subject of interview on this site, have reason to rejoice as to the August 18, 2020 North America DVD release of his latest film. The thought-provoking "The Lawyer" reflects the evolution of Zabarauskas ala the early Woody Allen zany comedies transitioning to the more sophisticated New York yuppies "Annie Hall" era of his career.
"Lawyer" easily passes two tests as to a film being worthy of adding to your home-video library. The most general element is that it has a very strong live-stage vibe. The second is unique to gay-themed films; there almost always is an inverse relationship between the amount of nudity and the merits of a movie. This is not to say that seeing a nude self photo that Zabarauskas offered in a prior funding effort would be unwelcome.
The following "Lawyer" trailer provides a good sense of the life and love of the titular middle-aged corporate attorney. It also verifies that Zabarauskas has a successful stylistic sensibility.
"Lawyer" mostly focuses on the personal life of Marius. His socializing centers around friends who are a group that knows that they must somehow form a family to avoid being all alone. A "Cousin Oliver" is a bisexual woman who has completed her transition into a man. A dinner-party conversation regarding how relationships among gay men can simultaneously include varying degrees of friendship, love, lust, and romance should ring true to every member of the primary "Lawyer" audience.
Marius becoming infatuated with Syrian refugee/cam-boy Ali, who partially is for rent, coincides with the death of the estranged father of the former. The universal element this time is Mom being more accepting of Marius being gay but still being far from joining PFLAG. Zabarauskas PERFECTLY portrays that dynamic in a scene of a mother-and-child reunion that literally was a phone call away.
These game-changers prompt Marius to visit Ali in Belgrade only to learn that this object of his affection does have to live like a refuge. This prompts Marius to don his legal advocate hat by trying to persuade the powers-that-be to allow Ali to move out of the refuge camp ahead of schedule. A related scene in which our friends with benefits compare themselves to Cinderella and Prince Charming is a film highlight.
The interaction with a bureaucrat includes Marius learning of the brutal exploitation and abuse of a group of young male refuges. One can only hope that this incident is the product of the fertile mind of Zabarauskas.
Although "Lawyer" literally lacks a dull moment and expertly makes you feel the agony and ecstasy of Marius, Zabarauskas saves the very best for last. A scene near the end of the film simultaneously proves that the audience is heavily interested in the central relationship and is a perfect example of things not always being as they seem. We also learn that enjoying a happy ending can require taking matters in your own hands.
All of this amounts to a sincere deep hope for "Lawyer II" that chronicles the next chapter in the life of Marius.