Cuba is not a country for young gays. Teen rent boy Reinier falls in love with a mate in the slum soccer field at their neighbourhood in Havana. Although obsessed with moneymaking to hold up his baby, teen wife and wife's granma, gambler Reinier always fails in getting the stoke of luck he looks for. At the same time he cannot help being infatuated by Yosvani. Handsome Yosvani will give up his wealthy -and elder- girlfriend whom he hooked to pay him a lavish life in the big city, and the works he makes for her father, a loan thug, so much in love he is with Reinier. But the boys would fight hard to keep this love in the reckless Havana streets.Written by
I've seen so few good 'gay-themed' films. "La partida" aka "The Last Match" is one of the great ones. From the director of another excellent film, "Clandestinos," we have a rare instance where gay characters aren't portrayed as ridiculous, clown-like stereotypes. The leads don't wear eyeliner, and they aren't go-go boys who hang out in bars, and they don't have drug problems. Instead we have two leads who are just regular people, who discover that they have a mutual attraction for each other. Living in Cuba, with a wife that supports him financially, Reinier is an avid futbol player, who is hoping to go pro, as a way of escaping a country where freedom does not exist. He also wants to escape the poverty that envelops him and his family and mates. So desperate for a way out, his own mother pushes him towards male prostitution, hoping that her young son will marry a foreigner, and thus give them all a way out of Cuba. Likewise Yosvani is in an unhappy relationship with a female, also supporting him. The two guys figure out that they like each other more than they should, and soon it turns into love. From that point everything and everyone seems set on destroying what the two have found with each other.
This is a sad story. It is romantic in a way that so few movies of this genre are. The two lead actors are great, especially Milton Garcia as Yosvani. He loves his friend in this intense way that we all wish we could be loved. His eyes are so sad, as though he knows from the start, that the love story will never have a happy ending. But he doesn't give up. This guy was brilliant.
Director Antonio Hens has a way of showing his audience a different kind of gay world, one that is free of dumb stereotypes. In "Clandestinos" we have a gay terrorist. And here we have a guy who plays football, and a street thug, who just happen to be attracted to the same sex. Films like this are so important, in that they teach the uninformed that gays are not "freaks," but in many cases completely typical men and women that just happen to be drawn to the same sex. As long as they are portrayed as silly stereotypes, the hatred and prejudice will be perpetuated. We need more cinema like this. It's a great love story, well-made and beautifully written. I recommend this movie as well as "Clandestinos," for people looking for something different.
13 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this