Tremors (2019) Poster


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Solid But Nothing New Here
evanston_dad7 January 2020
"Temblores" is another in the "gay conversion" film genre, so, though it's a solid enough movie in its own right, it suffers from having a "been there done that" quality.

This time around the setting is Guatemala, and the protagonist is a married man with children whose affair with another man sends his strict religious family into a tailspin. The movie marches through its predictable paces with decent if not especially memorable performances and a suitably downbeat ending.

"Temblores" isn't a film that I'm going to spend much time mulling over or have a strong feeling about one way or the other, but it does shed light on some really backwards cultural beliefs and laws in Guatemala, so if it brings some awareness to the harm yet one more country's rigid convictions are doing to a subset of its population, I can forgive it for being a bit late to the party.

Grade: B
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Uncomprimising drama about a newly gay man in a traditional marriage.
jdesando8 January 2020
Guatemala City is much like other prominent cities in South America: rich in diversity and burgeoning business. In the matter of gay men, writer/director Jayro Bustamante's Tremors depicts an Antigua state of mind: a family man who professes love for another man is in a world of hurt for his family and himself. Nothing is in the least progressive.

Such a narrow but not uncommon reaction by a local culture as offers a candid representation of the troubles gays can experience in a heavily Catholic and conservative small world. So authentic are the reactions, the film could have just as well have been about the effects of divorce on a community.

Pablo (Juan Pablo Olyslauer) comes home to a phalanx of family ready to condemn his choice of male love over his current heterosexual family life. Olyslauer's underplayed performance makes Pablo an audience-identifier of a person coming to terms with prejudice couched in family values.

Being unjustly called a pedophile, in order to separate him permanently from his children, may be the final indignity for a man who deserves not an iota of scorn for a choice not easily made and deeply felt for the grief he has caused his family and friends. It is rare to find such an honest portrayal of the difficulties a decision like his causes for everyone in his life. Without rancor or weeping and screaming from his family, Tremors quietly exposes the blindness of those surrounding him and his own uncertainty that he may have made the wrong decision.

The later scenes of his society's helping him becoming normal through therapy are the real pain of Tremors because his heart is not in the transformation, but he is willing to sacrifice his own happiness to be with his family.

Nowhere in contemporary cinema will you get as uncompromising a view of the unjust heartache attendant on choosing a societal imperative over one's happiness.
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Guatemalan Drama
larrys33 March 2020
Set in Guatemala, Pablo (Juan Pablo Olyslager) faces a crisis in his life when he reveals to his family that he is gay and will be moving out to be with his male partner Francisco (Mauricio Armas Zebadua).

Pablo's wife Isa (Diane Bathen) gets the courts to issue a restraining order against him so he cannot see his two children. She eventually will threaten him that unless he enrolls in a gay conversion therapy program in their radical religious church, she will take the children to America.

Overall, I thought this drama was solidly acted with realistic characters, as well as ably written and directed by Guatemalan filmmaker Tayro Bustamante.
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Captivating, but not exactly moving
Sir_AmirSyarif17 November 2020
Jayro Bustamante's 'Temblores' bit into the burning themes of Guatemalan society, such as faith, homophobia, and the effort to maintain a good, clean reputation even at the cost of personal freedom and happiness. The movie captivates with interesting approaches and strong acting performances. Unfortunately, it squanders the immense potential for something vital and thrilling by never going deep enough on either topic and only loosely touches on the conflicting emotional life of its protagonist.
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An excellent Guatemalan movie
FrenchEddieFelson1 May 2019
A wife of unspeakable beauty, two adorable children, a flourishing professional activity, ... It's a wonderful life for Pablo, until the discovery of an extramarital and homosexual affair. In this Guatemalan microcosm, an extramarital affair is already inadmissible in itself. And homosexual?!? This is definitely the trigger of a profoundly repressive modus operandi. Pablo is then high and dry, in the depths of the abyss, as a pawn at the mercy of a coercive environment, wedged between two concomitant loves: with his family and with Francisco. Even if the first twenty minutes are a bit messy, the cast is excellent and the photography is neat.
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Married gay guy living in a Nazi hell hole....
ohlabtechguy24 January 2021
Story takes place in modern day Central America and seriously, it might seem more appropriate if it had taken place in Nazi Germany. An ultra conservative, wealthy, holy roller family and sadistic church leaders practicing homo conversion therapy puts enormous pressure on a middle-aged, married gay guy with children to conform to their expectations. The plot would be more convincing if the married gay guy were much younger, in which case we would expect him to be more vulnerable to family, religious and societal pressures. But here we see an older, gay guy, who has recently come out, but doesn't yet seem to have a strong enough mind to overcome the steaming piles of BS that are being heaped upon him at every turn. On the other hand, his gay boyfriend has totally accepted what he is and what he likes. He makes no apologies for what he likes to do with other consenting adults. The actor playing Pablo has a lean, tall, masculine, athletic build...unfortunately we don't get to see much of it. Pretty much a bummer of a movie....not much visually that's interesting or pretty. The story line, as told, doesn't seem very likely. There's a paradox here of sorts....the primary character, Pablo, looks strong and mature, but he's just a baby inside. He can't think for himself and relies upon others to think for him. Six stars for a respectable attempt.
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Avoid the movie,
danielw-4988419 February 2020
Ridiculous at this time people still believe in conversion therapy. No even in Latino America. If that the way Guatemala want to be represent again gays Not a good message. I guess the person who wrote the script no realize the therapy not work but as a latino macho what else we can expect, Religion and church can't change a person. The church, family and friends need to accept them like they are, With this movie Guatemala turn the time from 2020 to 1950 when the gays were treat like a plague.
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Don't waste two hours of your life
londonviewer7 October 2019
The 2019 London Film Festival gave this movie a prime spot - not sure if they actually watched the whole film beforehand - but the half empty screening suggested the audience has better taste than the festival programmer.

So many things are wrong with this movie - mostly the acting. Apart from a few of the leads, most of the performances from the rest of the cast were patchy at best, and more consistently poor. It does give the viewer an appreciation for acting in other films - but it is painful to watch.

Whilst the first church scene was vaguely interesting, and the second only mildly dull, the third and the fourth church scenes just made me want to pull my hair out.

Some of the sound is pretty awful too. Whilst I understand that re-recording sound is expensive - surely a competent director does not shoot a scene beside a major road. Avoiding noisy roads isn't rocket science!

Then there's the grim script. Most films where misery is the central theme have "comic relief" moments, where the audience can breathe, before the next onslaught. This film doesn't really have any let up, as it piles misery on top of misery, with the just briefest hint that there might possibly have been some pleasure happening elsewhere.

The basic summary is that grim stuff that happened in the west 40 years ago still happens in Guatemala today - that's it! Save yourself two of the longest hours of your life, and go watch paint dry instead - it will be more rewarding.
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Touches on the surface of homophobia in Guatemala, but doesn't go deep enough
vesperview5 August 2019
Temblores is the second full length feature film by Jayro Bustamante, following the much acclaimed Ixcanul from 2015.

The film follows Pablo, a married man with two children who comes out as gay and whose life begins to unravel as society rejects him and his evangelical family goes to great lengths to cure his homosexuality.

The story starts out strong, perhaps too strong. The issue with the first scene is that we are thrusted into the conflict without much context to make us care for the protagonist or any of the characters in the movie. The stakes are so high, but without much needed backstory or exposition to engage the audience before this event takes place the whole mood feels very premature.

The relationship between Pablo and his boyfriend, Francisco, lacks chemistry, they also come from very different social backgrounds and have very different beliefs. I would've liked for the movie to provide some backstory as to how they met and what made them fall in love, or at least provide this information through dialogue because I didn't buy it. There's also very little physical contact between them, which is not realistic for a gay couple living alone in an apartment.

Juan Pablo Olyslager and Sabrina de la Hoz deliver the strongest performances out of the cast. I also enjoyed the performances of the two kids. They are very well written, the way they rebel at not being able to see their father is heartbreaking and the dialogue they share is very well written. There isn't really a bad performance in the movie. The issue lies in the writing. All the characters in the movie function around the protagonist, they have no story arcs or motivations of their own. The lack of character development reduces all the supporting characters in the film, except for Francisco and the kids, to vile religious fanatics with zero redeeming qualities who will ruin Pablo's life as long as he's gay.

In conclusion, the film didn't know the right place to begin or the right place to end and the middle is a myriad of sequences that eventually lead nowhere. For a film to tackle such sensitive issues, I feel like it still walked on eggshells around them. I expected it to be more crude, more real, to go all in on these issues, but for a film called Temblores, I expected to be shaken to my core and it barely made me shiver.
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Soap opera
alexzuno19 October 2020
Watch if you like Latin American soap operas otherwise avoid it.
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Great piece
provencio409 September 2020
I truly enjoyed several aspects of this film including the scenography and the environments used here. Great acting as well. I read other criticisms as accusations to the gay life on this movie but I believe the intention was to show us that could also be the hell dressed up in religion.
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Propaganda for religious fanatics
mail-747-66545216 August 2019
A gay man is condemned by his family, his church and he loses his job. Just because he is gay. The pressure on him is huge and he wants to be cured. Luckily a fanatic religious cult can cure him. End of film. You won't believe your eyes that a film like this is possible. Worldwide it is well-known that being gay is not a disease that can be cured. But this film tries to prove the opposite. Horrible!!
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The fifties are back
johstelwagen5 September 2019
Warning: Spoilers
In the uk, Turing was imprisoned and chemically castrated in the esrly nineteenfifties, after he had almost singlehandedly shortened the second ww by a year. He later committed suicide. This film depicts a Paraguy that has not evolved since. Quite digusting
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