film note: My Last Round

Not a knockout

My Last Round
Directed by Julio Jorquera Arriagada
110 min, Chile, 2012

Despite the gloomy milieu, there’s a lot to like about this same-sex relationship study from Chile. Unlike the gay characters in most American films, even in indies and from the underground, these characters don’t look or act like models or porn stars. There’s nothing glamorous about their bodies, clothes or the sex they have. And they have jobs, or in the case of the younger man in this film, are looking for one, and all these details are at least as important as the fact that they’re in a same-sex couples relationship. They also have back-stories, struggles and histories that live outside the conflict and narrative at hand but weigh on them all the same. As a result, the characters feel fully formed and not at all at the service of any agenda, other than getting to know them.

Unfortunately, the determinism implied by the film’s title eventually muffles the impact of all that’s gone before with a predictable climax, rather awkwardly staged with a heavy hand. I’ll watch it again to see if I’m being too harsh, and I’ll certainly be on the lookout for the next feature by Julio Jorquera Arriagada. This is his first.

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My Last Round
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