TV journalist Daniel Krueger (Chad Connell) seemingly has everything but inside he struggles with crippling anxiety. After landing a big interview, Daniel freezes onscreen and in the aftermath he locks himself away in his apartment. During a night out prior to the incident, Daniel meets young and beautiful Alexander (David Cameron). Initially he dismisses him as being too young but when Alexander forces his way into Daniel’s life, the two build a strong relationship as Daniel tries to battle his way through his anxiety.
Steel is the latest film from writer/director Sven J. Matten. Co-written with Melissa Kajpust, Steel is a look into the life of someone who struggles with anxiety caused by their upbringing. I don’t want to give too much away as the unravelling of Daniel’s past is one of the key plot points of the movie but suffice to say the character’s sexuality, and coming to terms with it, plays a huge part in why he’s the person he is now.
When his anxiety becomes too much for him, Daniel chooses to lock himself away from the outside world as a coping mechanism. Determined to be alone, Daniel shuts out his friends but allows newcomer Alexander into his life. At first he is bemused and a little irritated by his new friend’s persistence but soon he comes to realise that Alexander is the only thing holding him together. Despite their age difference, the two form a close bond quickly but Daniel is too wrapped up in his own issues to be able to offer any real support to Alexander who is dealing with personal issues of his own.
Chad Connell is absolutely superb as Daniel. Aside from looking absolutely gorgeous throughout the movie (superficial I know), he delivers a layered performance that makes him easily the standout in the movie. He brings Daniel’s complexities to life in a way that makes you root for him and his charisma radiates from the screen. Almost as good is David Cameron as young love interest Alexander. He plays the character as plucky and persistent and he balances well with Connell’s Daniel creating a believable chemistry and plenty of sexual tension.
The film suffers from being a little over-dramatic at times and some of the acting from the supporting cast isn’t great. That said there’s plenty to enjoy about the movie and the third act contained a plot development that I didn’t expect. The only other note of complaint is that the score tends to be very grand in places, which doesn’t seem to fit all that well with the scenes. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a stunning score but it doesn’t always gel with what’s happening on screen.
Steel is the epitome of a guilty pleasure. It’s never going to sweep award ceremonies or be hailed as an LGBT cinema classic but it has a certain charm that reeled me in and kept me hooked until the end. I genuinely enjoyed the movie, despite its flaws, and Chad Connell is an actor I will be firmly keeping an eye on in the future.
Cast: Chad Connell, David Cameron Director: Sven J. Matten Writer: Sven J. Matten Released By: TLA Releasing Certificate: 15 Duration: 108 mins Release Date: 23rd May 2016