Started in 2007 to keep a track of gay films that I watched, this blog has come much further than I had planned. There are tons of movies that I need to watch and review here. Through this blog, I want to give you genuine, my personal heart-felt review of the films that I see. These are my personal thoughts and opinions about the films and I would love to hear your thoughts on these films as well. I always reply to comments in a day or two. Please help me make my blog more popular by becoming a member, following it and by recommending it to your friends. As far as I know this is one of the very very few gay movie review blogs where reviews are not linked or copy-paste imdb summary. Enjoy and do keep writing your feedback.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Contracorriente (Peru-Spanish) [Undertow]

After watching loads of crap in the film festival, here came the pleasant surprise in the form of this Peruvian small film Undertow. I am so glad I got to see this film. It is such a beautiful depiction of human emotions. Not only does the film depict the unmatched beauty of the Peruvian coastline, this bittersweet tale of a unique love-triangle set within a small fishing village explores the quest to define contemporary sexual identity.

Miguel, a respected fisherman and his beautiful bride Mariela are about to welcome their firstborn. But Miguel harbors a scandalous secret; he is also in love with a man, Santiago, a visiting artist who has been ostracized by the local community because of his sexuality. Even though Santiago is frustrated with Miguel's closetness, he still loves him and yearns for him alot. When Santiago drowns in a tragic accident involving the ocean's strong undertow, his spirit returns to Miguel in a form that only he is able to see. For the first time, they are free to express their love without fear. But Santiago remains trapped in the village, unable to cross peacefully to the other side, until his body is found and buried in accordance with the rituals of the town. In the meantime somehow news spread in the village about the 2 men's closeness. After initial denial, Miguel accepts it to his wife and because of their son promises to never ever think of him or anything. He asks Santaigo's ghost to never visit him again. Life is going well until one day his body is discoveerd. After a lot of struggle, Miguel chooses to do right by giving proper burial to Santiago, something t hat was his last wish, even if that means that his wife is going to leave him forever and the village community will ostracize him.

Oh boy! where do I even start. The story was perfect. You would think that the whole ghost aspect would make this film quirky but no, it has been handled so beautifully with emotions, its unbelievable. The love between Miguel and Santiago is pure and eternal. Miguel's struggle between his love for Santiago and his wife and son is sop real that it kills you. I loved the moments when initially Santiago's ghost comes and Miguel thinks that everything is going to be ok and they will be happy. His expressions are priceless. Best acting is when you dont have to speak and the viewer knows exactly what's going on in the actor's mind. The climax is heart wrenching. Miguel wants to do his best for his family but how can he ever forget Santiago, a person whom he always truly truly loved. When he accepts this to his wife, it kills you and finally when Miguel does the last rights, you just can't control. Performance wise, every single character in the film was splendid. The approach of the film is very gentle. Everything, from sex to death, is implied, nothing explicit. I salute the director for attempting something so brave and handling it with such sensitivity. It could easily have become a cheesy film but thank god it turned out to be a wonderful experience. By the way, the fact that both men were good looking does help too but their love, emotion, struggle everything is just pure and beautfiul.

I feel sad even while writing this. This film is a must watch. (9.5/10)

14 comments:

Sheri C said...

As an update to this piece, Undertow will be opening in NYC/LA on November 26 and spreading around the country over the next few months. For screening cities, please visit
http://www.undertowfilm.com/screenings.html

and check out the Facebook page for more reviews. This film has also been submitted to represent Peru in the Best Foreign Language Oscar 2011

Pao said...

A beautifull movie...

Golu said...

Indeed it is

LezBall said...

First of, thanks for your blog.. Seen a couple of movies already.. My personal faves as of this time:
"From Beginning To End" and "Burnt Money"
I dunno what kind of a viewer I am, sometimes I dig the lines used, the settings, the music, and heck the actors.. But one thing is for sure, I've always been a sucker for man to man love stories.
Again, thanks for the list. Will watch all of 'em for sure XD

And yeah, re UNDERTOW, movie is beautiful.. Tiago is effin beautiful :p
I almost cried on that scene when he asked Miguel to let him go.. SIGH.

Eternal Sonata said...

Oh wow, I love how you review movies and enjoy re-reading them just to imagine how the movie's storyline is going. I want to watch this movie because you make it sound so interesting and given that its only 2 movies that you rated highly on a scale of 10, I will do the movie good and watch it. I thank you for the blog and for your reviews which I find helpful and actually useful.

Golu said...

Thanks buddy for appreciating the blog. I am glad you find it useful. Hopefully his blog can help you choose what movies to watch and what not to waste your time on

Gandhi said...

thanks again for your blog. you know i'm a big fan of your reviews and ratings, and most of the time i totally agree with your comments.

so i just finished watching contra corriente, and i loved it. somewhere in the middle, where miguel and his wife started watching soccer on the tellie i was a little irritated, but the end just had be crying like a baby.

it's so pure, and romantic, and PURE again. i looooved the last kiss scene, omg, i wanna cry again.



so, thanks again for this wonderful tip!

gandalf

Golu said...

Thanks Gandhi..
I am glad that you loved the film. I have been meaning to see this film again for such a long time, just haven't had the time. I cried a lot during the end. This is what you call as eternal love

Phirman said...

I do love this one, I've watched it for 5 times :D

Golu said...

Its been a while since I saw it. I need to watch it again

Amy said...

First of all, it’s unfair to even grade this movie. I haven’t seen anything more beautiful than this movie in my entire life. There is no comparison, it’s beyond categorizing.
Those lines “you are a coward that thinks being a man is having a wife and kids. There are thousand ways of being a man and you are none of them. Who are you trying to fool man! You are scared to accept that you love me” rings in my ears all the time.
I definitely recommend that the rating should be 10/10 and 9.5 is just not justified.

Golu said...

I am loving the fact this movie is being loved by one and all. Amy, I forgot about the line that you have mentioned here but reading it now is reminding me of the film and how much more I wanna revisit this film again. This time with my partner. This film is for keeps :)

sk19125 said...

For me this is the best gay movie. Beautiful.
I love your blog. i follow it and try to see all the high rank movies.
Recommand a german movie called Sasha/
I think you will like it

Golu said...

Thanks you for the suggestion buddy and also appreciate your good words on my blog. Do continue to follow.