a film by Marco Berger.
2013 | 102 mins | Argentina.
starring: Manuel Vignau / Eugenio, Mateo Chiarino / Martin, Luz Palazón / Señora, Antonia De Michelis / Neighbour and Manuel Martínez Sobrado as Eugenio's Brother.
Adapted Synopsis: "Seeking temporary work, homeless but proud Martin chances upon his former childhood friend Eugenio during a hot summer in the Argentinean countryside. Employing his services to help restore the family, Eugenio's uncle's, summer house and grounds to their prime, if perhaps for more personal reasons, the two men come to renew their friendship, along the way reliving childhood memories, whilst grabbling with their burgeoning attraction to each other."
There's some delightful touches to this simple, yet equally compelling love story from writer and director Marco Berger of Absent fame. Not least of which is its largo tempo, a deliberate unhurried pace that whilst perhaps too slow for some, here shines the spotlight on the growing bond between the two men, as Martin's maintenance duties are soon to give way to time spent with Eugenio; the "employer / employee" dividing line now cast aside as the two spend an increasing amount of time together; eating, drinking, swimming, growing ever closer in a sequence of perceptive scenes without words.
Two hearts that beat as one, in Hawaii.
Sure, you know from day one that Eugenio fancies Martin, for whilst going out of his way to take care of his friend in an ever so compassionate, almost boyfriend manner, Eugenio's voyeuristic streak is equally visible, soon to be found inviting Martin to swim in the pool, to try on new clothes, to take a shower; seemingly any guise that will result with his friend in a state of undress. Then again, Berger is the master of Sexual Tension, building upon each telling glance, every subtle eye movement, to detail a ticking time bomb of inner longing ready to explode at any moment. Yet here, Berger keeps you waiting, building up to the act itself, only to take the narrative in a surprising "two pineapples" direction thereafter and whilst to say more would be a spoiler, the answer to the question lies with the scene between the two that follows, roles that man-candy Mateo Chiarino and Manuel Vignau of prior Plan B acclaim play to a delectable tee.
Complete with a lush string score from Berger associate and composer Pedro Irusta and crammed with a series of homoerotic moments that see Eugenio and Martin innocently touch each other's semi-naked bodies, let alone extend covert looks at each other's frontal form, above all this is a film in which the minimal use of secondary characters allows the story to intentionally focus on the sexually charged relationship between the two men, neither of whom knows how to handle the romantic yearnings that are redefining their friendship. Wonderfully played, this captivating visual ode to love is simply beautiful.
Gay Visibility - overt.
Nudity - the covert monty.
Overall - file under ... 4 stars.