I Want What I Want

Watch I Want What I Want

"...to be a woman"
  • R
  • 1972
  • 5.9  (155)

I Want What I Want is a 1972 British drama adapted from the novel by Geoff Brown. The film tells the story of Roy, a young man who has always felt trapped in his male body and yearns to become a woman. This quest for gender reassignment surgery drives him to leave behind his stifling working-class home and embark on a journey of self-discovery.

Anne Heywood stars as Roy's emotionally distant mother, whose inability to connect with her son fuels his feelings of isolation and alienation. Harry Andrews plays his cold and domineering father, determined to impose his traditional values on his son. The film paints a bleak picture of the familial and societal pressures that Roy faces as a transgender individual. His therapist, played by Jill Bennett, offers some support, but even she seems to question Roy's identity at times.

As Roy begins living as a woman, he adopts the name Wendy, and we see her navigate the challenges of a society that cannot comprehend her identity. Wendy attracts the attention of a man, played by Michael Coles, who falls in love with her despite his initial confusion about her gender. This relationship provides some relief from the constant struggles that Wendy faces, but it is not without its share of difficulties.

I Want What I Want is a groundbreaking film for its portrayal of transgender identity at a time when it was still a deeply taboo subject. It offers a nuanced and sympathetic portrayal of a transgender character, and the film's willingness to delve into the psychological and emotional complexities of Roy's journey makes it a powerful viewing experience. The film also offers a bleak yet realistic look at the way society views gender, and the barriers that transgender individuals face in pursuing the lives they want.

The film's cinematography is notable for its use of odd angles and close-ups, which heighten the sense of emotional turmoil that Roy experiences. The score, composed by John Cameron, is also a standout, providing an atmospheric and haunting backdrop for the film's themes.

Despite the film's significant contributions to the representation of transgender individuals in cinema, it was not without controversy upon release. Some critics found the film's sympathetic portrayal of a transgender character too radical for the time, while others criticized the film for its portrayal of Wendy's desire for surgery as superficial.

Nevertheless, I Want What I Want remains an important and influential film, both as a work of groundbreaking queer cinema and as a portrait of the struggle for self-acceptance that many transgender individuals face. Anne Heywood's portrayal of Roy/Wendy remains a powerful and affecting performance, and the film's unflinching portrayal of the difficulties faced by transgender individuals continues to resonate with audiences today.

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  • IMDB Rating
    5.9  (155)