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Esteros (Spanish / Portuguese)

What a beautiful film!! I did not have much expectations from the film and did not have any idea what the film is all about but I was pleasantly surprised. Agreed that the pace of this film could be found a bit too slow for a lot of viewers but in my opinion that just made this film even more beautiful and an experience to watch the relationship between the two friends.

The film is told in two simultaneous generations. Childhood friends Matias and Jero spend many summers together in the Argentinean wetlands of Esteros. They both are really close to each other, just like their families. The boys spend all the time together and one such summer night, they get much closer and intimate. Unfortunately, their mutual attraction never finds a conclusion because Matias’ father agrees to a job in Brazil. Present day, Matias now has a girlfriend and the two are visiting his hometown for her cousin’s graduation celebration. Matias and Jero reconnect and you see the initial awkwardness soon turning into connection that was long lost. Jero is now a handsome young man confident and comfortable in his sexuality. The two men try to reconnect, including taking a day trip to the summer house (despite Matias’ girlfriend’s reservations). As the two men tentatively reconnect, the unresolved tensions of their youth rise to the surface slowly. The inevitable happens and the two friends finally make love to each other but as expected, the morning brings the awkwardness back for Matias, who now has to reassess his choices and to figure out whether he can turn his back on his girlfriend in favour of the man he's always loved but ignored.

I really like the film and it connected with me in a way that pure love touches you. Actor playing Jero was fantastic. He showed all feeling with just his eyes. The happiness on seeing his friend again after all these years. the longing and love that he still has for his friend, but still aware that one wrong move on his part may lead to losing his friendship, the happiness and satisfaction on finally making love and ending in disappointment and heart-break on seeing how Matias reacts the next morning. Everything is so subtle and innocent and not OTT at all and thats what makes it ever so special. Matias in his role was good too as a confused man trying to find out what the right thing to do is. The film doesn’t really explore this but my view is that Matias always hid his feelings or emotions because of his dominant father, which becomes evident in the scene where the father stares the young Matias when he is dancing with Jero. Th direction was simple yet elegant. The silent moments and the picturesque details that just show us that these friends are connected emotionally and spiritually and they don’t need elaborate dialogues to show the connection to anyone else. Besides the pace of the film, I really cannot find much fault with the film but then that itself could be a downer.

I Believe this is more a story about friendship turning into love and not necessarily about being gay. If slow paced films do not bother you, then you may connect with this film. (7.5/10)

Comments

luigi43 said…
Lovely the wild location ,but they have electricity , hot water and so on ; very handsome the "boys" , star-crossed Matia's girl friend, incredible Jero's parent's . I could go on lines and lines . At the end ,one of my favorite movies; may I dare to write better than "shelter"or it is an outrage?
Golu said…
Glad that you agree. I don't know if its better than Shelter (because that an amazing film) but this film ,on its own, its pretty impressive.
luigi43 said…
Ok , You win! Shelter has been my first love and I can't cheat Shaun and Zac . :-))))
lina said…
It takes me so much time to find it but totally worth it !
Such a good movie, I love Jero he's the best so understanding and beautiful, he waits all this time for mati, sooo romantic. It's not the story of the year but very pleasent to watch though. Unlike lots of gay film it suceed to avoid overdramitic situations : we clearly see that Mati have some problems with fitting in his father's expectations (dancing with Jero,repair the fridge, making lots of money) and do what he really wants to, but when he leaves everything for Jero it's looks so easy, love it ! Like if Jero was the solution of all his problem. Finally a good happy endding YES ! (Gay movies don't do that often, why ?!). Also love the narration sharing between childhood and present. Kids play really good and look so mutch like theirs olders, it really adds somethig to the story. For me it's an 8/10 !
Thank you for your work !
Also do you know Skam ? May bee it's too childish for you, but i'll be happy to know your opinion about it. Love Golu
Golu said…
Thank you for your wonderful feedback and yes, i agree with your opinions completely. And please continue to share your ideas and thoughts here.
What is Skam? I know of a TV show called Skam (currently in season 3) but nothing else. Is that what you are talking about? I can't make up my mind if I want to see it or not. Sounds too much of teenage drama and the gay storyline in only in Season 3
lina said…
Hey ! Happy to see that you seem as excited to read my thoughs that i am to read yours !
Don't worry i haven't the crazy intention to stop fallowing your good recommandations !
About Skam, yes it's this serie and Yes i was thinking the same but it nicely surprised me ! And now i'm totally into it, may bee i'll be disappointed, but for now i have pretty good hopes in the story. It has nothing to do with random teen serie with a gay plot as a quota to respect diversity. It's so much more, the relation is really well describe, we totally feel the deep feeling of the main character.It's a nice show about finding yourself and coming out at this age. I'll concede that some twist remind us that it's still a teen show but now i totally over pass this. I'm not objective because right now i'm totally obssesed but i still think that you may like it. When for once it's well describe it is my duty to share it with u.
(and yes i only recommand saeason 3)
Golu said…
Alright then. I will watch Season 3 when its done. :) I believe its still being telecast
Unknown said…
There was a short film version of this film which is a little different as it goes much more into a Carnival celebration where both boys see a beautiful gay man attacked. This may explain Matias action but that was not essential to this story so it was omitted. The short film is simply entitled Matias y Jeronimo and it was released in 2014. One can find it easily on You Tube as I did. After seeing this film on Amazon, I purchased it right away.
Golu said…
I will definitely look it up. Sounds promising.
Factatack said…
Definitely a lovely film!
Now that was a really good surprise. Both kids and adults were Amazing. Someone mentioned Shelter above... Well, old classics will always have a special place in our hearts, but some of them are getting a bit old now, while esteros, center of my world or god's own country are so much better written and directed. Esteros is one of the very good ones. Loved every second
Golu said…
yeah. Some of the old good ones are still gems, maybe because earlier the entore pool of LGBT films so was so less. Of late there arent that many films that are great !
Miisu said…
This film gets better every time I decide to rewatch it. I even have a quote of Jero printed out and nailed to the inspiration board above my desk ("Things happen. But when something else should happen, it just doesn't.")

What makes "Esteros" unique for me is that it's a perfect, zen-like, point zero on the continuum from extremely sad films ("The Normal Heart", "Summer of '85") to utterly happy ones ("Boys", "Just Friends"). It has the same situations that end with drama in other films, but in "Esteros" the selfsame situations cause no problems at all. Meeting your boyhood crush after 10+ years and having him so close to you that you could count his eyelashes - no drama. Girlfriend gets suspicious - no drama. Trying to find flaws in your crush - and discovering that they are actually features that make him even lovelier. Parents coming home while you lay in post-coital embrace on the living room sofa - no drama, just grab the clothes and relocate to the bedroom. And no drama after telling the girlfriend that she was rightfully suspicious and the relationship is over. So zen, tranquil, peaceful... If I were a doctor, I'd prescribe this film as a therapy!

One more thing that captivates me every time is the way the song "Amores como el nuestro" is used so well. A few moments before the kiss in the living room Matias and Jero speak nothing, but the lyrics of the song describe their mutual thoughts. And in the end when Matias is walking to the store the same song grows louder and louder the closer he gets to his destination. Perfection accutus! I'd give a few Oscars for that, indeed.
Golu said…
oh wow!! I hear a huge FAN in the room for the film. I really need to see this song again :)

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