My Last Round (Mi ultimo round)

25 08 2012

Synopsis: a closeted, retired boxing champ and his partner come across difficulties when moving to a new city and starting a new life together.

Super awesome things: a gay boxer!  In South America!  Awesome!

One of the best things about this slow, observant film is that the gayness presented from the protagonist doesn’t feel like the crutch of the film.  Rather, it is merely a part of his identitiy.  He just happens to be a gay boxer who loves a man.  I like the the film tackles the macho world of boxing too.  Although I don’t really like boxing or violent sports, I understood how it can be someone’s passion.  It’s also particularly interesting how Octavio, the boxer, goes after the more effeminate man (who looks like the Latino version of Rufus Wainwright, I swear), as we constantly see the other way around in movies.  Despite nabbing a boyfriend, Octavio doesn’t seem super-in love with him.  As the film progresses, however, and Hugo has a kiss with the obligatory evil straight woman, Jenny, there’s a sense that even though Octavio isn’t affectionate, he’s still loyal and wouldn’t cheat on Hugo.  I think his character is one of the deeper characters at the Queer Film Fest this year, and it was cool to see him on screen, played exceptionally well by the actor.

Not so awesome things:  Sigh.

Why, ending, why??

It doesn’t feel like an ending, and certainly for Hugo, it’s a double whammy of deaths.  I suppose it’s a slight twist on the convention of the macho gay guy getting involved with another woman and ruining things between the two men by having Hugo be the cheater, but why must women always be a source of conflict in gay films?  Why must gay menin movies be torn apart by such negative portrayals of women?  At the very least, Hugo knows what he’s done is wrong and doesn’t pursue Jenny after their awkward kiss.  I just wished there was a better, happier ending, where gay men would actually solve their problems instead of being killed off.  Dying is not a solution, people.

Good for watching: if you’re feeling down.

Overall: nicely made, slightly unconventional save for the unfortunate ending.

Grade: B