Writer & Director: Julio Jorquera
Stars: Roberto Farias, Manuela Martelli, and Hector Morales
This is a rough story about a gay couple. Roberto is the middle-aged boxer; Hector is the younger hourly worker. They meet and develop feelings for each other. Roberto is diagnosed with a condition that could result in his death if he continues to fight. They choose to move to the capital, Santiago, to start a new life. Roberto finds work in his other career–barber. Hector finds work as a delivery driver for a small store where he befriends the owner’s daughter who starts to develop feelings for him. The train then comes off the track in their relationship and their world goes spinning out of control.
I saw this movie at an advance screening by the Miami International Film Festival, and the director was there for a Q & A session.
The film is gritty, but flawed–too much of it being left on the floor, especially at the beginning. I asked the director if the two main characters had known each other before the first time we see them together in the film, and he said he left that ambiguous. Originally the screenplay had a longer first act introduction that he felt would have made the film too long and felt the story of their relationship was the point of the movie. Though I agree with him, I do think it could have been handled more clearly.
The other flaw of the film is the two main characters did not have any chemistry with each other. On screen they were never happy together. The performers were good and I believed their dialogue, but I never saw the happy moments of their relationship that would make me believe their relationship was worth maintaining. Also, Roberto did not seem to fit his role. At first his heavy-set out-of-shape body made sense for an aging boxer past his prime. But when his last fight is with an up-and-coming boxer that everyone else is afraid to fight, I didn’t believe that their fight could actually ever happen. In other words Rocky fighting Apollo Creed makes sense, but Steven Segal of today fighting an MMA fighter doesn’t.
Overall the movie is an OK, and I enjoyed it for spotlighting other cultures–both Chilean and boxing–that I don’t know much about. I also enjoyed it because it was not your usual depiction of gay characters in gay films. You do believe these two guys could be real people going through real problems.