GRAMMAIRE

It began as a hate letter, sent from a grieving gay man to lớn his dead lover’s father. A father who did not understand his son’s sexuality. A son who would rather commit suicide than face his parents when they discovered he was in a same-sex relationship. This hate letter would eventually turn into lớn Rodrigo Bellott’s play Tu Me Manques; French for I Miss You...the last conversation he had with his boyfriover on social truyền thông.

Since năm ngoái, Tu Me Manques became a hit in Rodrigo’s native sầu Bolivia & became part of the national converstaion about anti-discrimination laws và homophobia. Days after the play premiered, people all over Bolivia started coming out and sharing their stories; something Rodrigo has called the “Tu Me Manques Effect.”

Now Rodrigo is baông chồng khổng lồ directing film and his latest movie is an adaptation of the play and when it works, it absolutely soars.

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Tu Me Manques wears its play inspirations on its sleeve sầu as it begins with a scene-setting plathẻ that introduces Jorge (Osoto Martínez), the father of recently deceased Gabriel (...we’ll get lớn who plays hyên ổn in a moment), as he picks through his son’s meager belongings. He looks through Gabriel’s computer và accidentally intercepts a Skype phone hotline with Sebastian (Fernanvì Barbosa), Gabriel’s ex-boyfriend. Their conversation is rough & anger-filled, both sides blaming each other for the suicide. And when they over their Điện thoại tư vấn, they think that’s the last they’ll see of each other.

But Jorge flies from Bolivia lớn Thành Phố New York khổng lồ talk khổng lồ Sebastian because of a bình luận he made during the Skype call: “Shame on you for losing a son you never knew.” Meanwhile, Sebastian is in the process of putting on a play inspired by his lost love. And it’s between the two, the current events and the play, that we learn about Gabriel, Sebastian and Jorge and come khổng lồ terms with what happened.

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Gabriel is played by...well 30 different actors according to lớn the credit danh mục. But mostly he’s played by Jose Duran, Qulặng del Rio & Ben Lukovski. Rodrigo swaps between the three constantly in scenes throughout the movie, oftentimes between even camera angle changes. The idea that Rodrigo and Sebastian both credit is that if he picked one actor it’d replace the memory of Gabriel forever. The effect also works to lớn keep us at arms length of the character và feels lượt thích memories do; hazy & indistinct.

The narrative sầu swaps between the present and năm trước, when Sebastian first met Gabriel. They have sầu a sexy meet xinh tươi where Gabriel shows up at a men’s clothing store Sebastian works at. He’s looking for clothes for a catering job & proceeds khổng lồ just strip in front of Sebastian, throwing his new shirt on & getting encouraging responses. They bond over both being from Bolivia and Sebastian asks him out, but Gabriel says he’s not gay.


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We follow this story, through its ups and downs as well as Jorge’s journey through the gay parts of Thành Phố New York, under the auspices of being a newly out gay man. That portion didn’t really ring true to me. I underst& a father trying to lớn underst& his dead son, but I don’t think he’d simply accept the world Sebastian thrusts him inkhổng lồ.

That said, the best thing about Tu Me Manques is just how well paced it is. Scenes flow from one lớn another in such a slight way that it never seems khổng lồ end. It continues at a quick pace throughout the entire almost two hour runtime & that’s surprising. One powerful sequence is when Sebastian is establishing his play và he has thirty actors on a darkly lit stage. He và his staff tell them khổng lồ partner up và hold each other. He explains that he wants them to lớn melt inkhổng lồ each other’s arms and think of a pleasant memory; a girlfriover or boyfriover, a parent.

This is intercut with Sebastian in bed with one of the three Gabriels and follows hyên ổn through a morning routine, the camera following Sebastian & each of the three Gabriel placed in different spots, performing various morning routines as Sebastian walks to the kitchen. And then the perspective is back khổng lồ the dark stage as Sebastian và his associate rip the couples apart, one by one, whispering in their ears. It creates a metaphoric rift that resonates into the real life romance of Sebas và Gabriel. It’s incredibly effective và moving.

I really enjoyed Tu Me Manques, even if it did feel a bit heavy-handed at times. It’s grounded in real emotion và is captured so beautifully. Keep this one on your radar.