›› The Sex of Angels - El sexo de los ángeles ‹‹

a film by Xavier Villaverde.

2012 | 105 mins | Spain.

a sensuous journey of sexual exploration.

Dave says:

Bursting with sexual fluidity, here director Xavier Villaverde breathes fresh life in the tried and tested love triangle scenario, as the screenplay by Ana Maroto sets out to question just what happens when a man who hitherto has always viewed himself as straight, finds himself sexually drawn to another man, whilst still deeply in love with his girlfriend? And what happens to that girl when she comes to realize that she cannot live without her man, just as he cannot live without both of his lovers?

For that's the situation that Carla (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey); a gifted photographer and her devoted boyfriend Bruno (Llorenç González) find themselves in when they happen to chance upon Rai (Álvaro Cervantes); namely a charismatic and mysterious dancer who moves from city to city, just as he moves from one love affair to another. Only now in in Barcelona things are set to change, as the trio of lovers come to form an intense triangle of attraction, one with no rules attached.

For just like Amnon Buchbinder's delightful feature Whole New Thing, here Villaverde preaches a sexual "who says you have to choose?" sermon. And it's beautifully played too, with all three leads giving wondrous performances at every turn, aided by a "biter bit" scenario, courtesy of the sexual tables having been turned upside down, by way of a woman determined to make her boyfriend feel the same emotions as her; be it jealousy, be it rage, or be it love.

For that's what strikes a chord here, given this is a feature that handles its core subject of polyamory with refreshing honesty. Sure and as expected Carla is furious with she discovers that her boyfriend has been cheating on her, at least at first, throwing Bruno out, along with his belongings. Yet she equally comes to see in Rai a man who is more than just her boyfriend's boyfriend; refusing to be sexually pigeonholed, opting instead to be sexual - without any prefix attached.

Crosscut with scenes of street dance in all of its vibrant form, together with Carla's co-workers becoming increasingly interested in her love life; office gossip style, the result all but makes for a sensuous journey of sexual exploration, as played remarkably natural throughout, apart that is from a somewhat melodramatic close-of-play. That the boys engage in some serious man-on-man lip-service, including a goodbye kiss that is anything but, showcase a director who has deliberately gone out of his way to not so much push sexual boundaries, but literally throw them out of the window altogether, proudly depicting love - as love. Yet in saying that, you cannot get away from the reality of the physical encounters between the two men being nowhere as steamy as those of their hetero counterparts, with the critical "first time" bedroom scene between the boys, all but AWOL. That said, this is provocative entertainment to say the least and totally compelling in all of its seductive charm. Say no more.

›› revised: Sunday, 5th September, 2021.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - bare-arsed cheek. 
Overall - file under ... 4 stars. 

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