So a couple of days ago I watched Do começo ao fim (2009). And I've been thinking it over ever since.

For those who don't recognize the title, it concerns a brazilian movie whose trailer has been making the rounds. The movie tells the story of two half-brothers (they have the same mother) by the names Francisco and Thomás who enter into a sexual/romantic relationship later in life. The tag line reads as follows: "To understand this love, one has to turn the world upside down" (Para entender esse amor é preciso virar o mundo pelo avesso).




 


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First things first. Being a fan of slash (and of some incestuous pairings), I am the intended public for Do começo ao fim. Also, I get what the director tried to do here and I appreciate his - and everyone else's - effort. In the end, though, I guess I liked the idea of the movie better than the execution.

For instance, the story starts with a voice over by Thomás, who looks back on his birth. According to family lore, he didn't open his eyes for the first two weeks of life. At that time, everybody worried with the exception of their mother. She used to say that Thomás would act when he was ready - when he felt like doing it. She is proven right. One day, he opened his eyes and looked into the eyes of Francisco. This opening his eyes/gazing into the eyes of his older brother is coded as Thomás exercising his free will, doing what he deems right regardless of other people's expectations and society's rules. It's a theme I embrace wholeheartedly. I'm all for questioning the general assumptions about love and desire - for criticizing the ways culture/society tries to regulate lots of things it has no business regulating.

But the movie loses me some when it doesn't run with it. Sure, we have scenes where a person close to the boys (the mother, her first husband, her second husband) comments on their unusual closeness and ever growing intimacy. After the words are spoken, however, they are soon forgotten - or they appear to be. No one (that we can see) actually talks to the brothers about the stigmas associated with homosexuality and incest. Again, more power to people who think outside the box - the nonconformist types among us. Still, the way it all plays out in the narrative... It strains credulity.

And the major time jump doesn't help matters any. The story goes from the funeral of Francisco's father (Francisco is 12 and Thomás is 6 or 7 then) to their mother's funeral, when they are both young men in their twenties. As soon as she is dead and buried, they fall into bed together. No preamble. No rehearsal. No angst nor guilty whatsoever. Not even a moment of doubt/hesitation. It makes for LOTS of hot scenes throughout the movie but I, for one, needed more.

I needed the intervening years: the instant one brother and/or another realized he was attracted to his own flesh and blood; the time it took for them to deal with the realization; the time it took for them to decide "to hell with society" and go for it. I really want to know how they came to this choice; what it is about these two characters that gives them the strength/conviction to defy such ingrained taboos. Unfortunately, I left the theater empty-handed.

Problems aside, I would recommend Do começo ao fim. It has the fairy tale romance (and the guaranteed happy ending), plus a couple of very handsome actors being cute & hot together/making out with enthusiasm/rolling around in bed naked.
raveninthewind: (Pete-Hemmy)

From: [personal profile] raveninthewind


I think this film will be hard for me to find, but I'll make a note of it.

From: [identity profile] ohyoudo.livejournal.com


Yes, I've read the exact same thing from other people that saw it, too. And it's very disappointing to Hear/read, but eh. I guess I'll shamelessly need to root for their hot scenes together, like watching soft porn or something? lolz.
Thank you for sharing your take on it :)

From: [identity profile] gardinha.livejournal.com


Yes, I've read the exact same thing from other people that saw it, too. And it's very disappointing to Hear/read

It IS disappointing. The writer/director could have done so much more with the story. Well, we can always resort to fanfic in order to "correct" his "mistakes" and/or fill in the gaps. In fact, I may end up writing something about those intervening years because this great question mark is bothering me THAT much...

I guess I'll shamelessly need to root for their hot scenes together, like watching soft porn or something?

No problem with that :)

From: [identity profile] sablier-bloque.livejournal.com


Thanks for posting! I'm not reading because I don't want spoilers! I just want to know if you enjoyed it... :) I hope you did!

From: [identity profile] maichan808.livejournal.com


Thank you so much for the review. I've been looking forward to this film for months. I'm sorry to hear about the missed potential. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to enjoy it on a purely superficial level ;)

From: [identity profile] libfulknot.livejournal.com


I've also read the same things and am a bit disappointed, but I still really want to see the film. My guess its going to be a long time until I see it unless I find it online(i live in california). Here is to hoping their chemestry alone will suffice. I loved your review and thanks for taking the time write it.

From: [identity profile] blueluthien.livejournal.com


Vou escrever em Português porque sei que és Brasileira. Já agora, eu sou Portuguesa.

Anseio desesperadamente por este filme, sonho com ele, as imagens atormentam-me, deixam-me num grande desasossego, mas de uma forma positiva. Melhor dizendo, estou tão apaixonada pela idea deste filme que ainda não vi que me sinto como se estivesse prestes a dar o meu primeiro beijo ao homem que amo e por quem tenho esperado...

Isso aconteceu com Brokeback Mountain (suspiro só de pensar...), e acontece agora com este filme.

Acredito que este filme nunca chegará a estrear em Portugal, até porque já vi a lista das próximas estreias nos cinemas Portugueses para os próximos meses.
Parte-me o coração.

Só me resta esperar que o filme fique disponível para donwload online, o mais breve possível!
Se isso não acontecer, terei de esperar que vá para dvd...
Ainda mais triste.

Esta história de amor toca-me de uma forma tão profunda que até custa respirar.

Meu Deus escolheram os actores perfeitos.
Eles dois são indocutivelmente lindos, físicamente falando, mas há de muito especial nos dois que´me transmite muita ternura e sensibilidade...

E a química presente naquele video "ensaio" é inacreditável.
Eu chego mesmo a convencer-me de que eles estão a apaixonar-se naquele momento...

Sou uma sonhadora louca. Eu sei.

Enfim.

Quero dizer que li os teus Spoilers porque não consegui evitar, foi mais forte do que eu.

Fiquei um pouco desiludida, e a tua desilusão ficou bem expressa e entristece-me pois, enfim, acho que acreditava que este filme poderia ser (quase) perfeito)...

Mas claro que isso é uma ilusão.

No entanto, nem assim deixo de desejar ver este filme com toda a minha alma e coração.

Só quero/preciso que me digas uma coisa para eu ficar em paz:

O filme consegue transmitir de uma forma fiel e muito intensa a grandiosidade do amor que os une?

Sentiste o grande amor?
Ou faz parecer que se trata mais de uma experiência sexual entre dois irmãos que têm uma mente muito aberta e estão vulneráveis e por isso se deixam levar?

O que me dará paz é saber que quando o filme chega ao fim, o amor deles é mesmo para sempre pois eles foram feitos um para o outro, corpo e alma.


Peço muitas desculpas por ter sido tão chata e ter escrito um verdadeiro testamento tão sentimental, mas realmente este filme toca-me tão profundamente e precisava expressar esta emoção toda...

Sorte a tua por já o teres visto.

Eu e imagino que muito outra gente, vamos ter de esperar e esperar...

Um abraço

ana


From: [identity profile] veggieg.livejournal.com


Thank you for the review. I don't know when the movie would reach US with English subtitle so I'm anxious to read more about it. The idea of the movie is very intrigue to me and the hot actors are just too good looking together. But I agree with you! It's a controversial issue here between the two brothers, I want to see how do they deal with their feelings, realizing their forbidden love. I like to see the struggle, the angst that they're going through. Without it than it's just plain lust!

From: [identity profile] eternitybreaks.livejournal.com


I get that there is no tension or angst when it comes to the boys getting together. Or even an understanding on how it all happens, I do want to ask though was there any angst when they were separated. Thomás I assume heads to Russia for his Olympic training, and I've seen some clips of the guys talking to each other on their laptops via their webcams. I have to ask was there any angst/turmoil there?

Thanks for the review, btw!
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