DIRECTED BY LUCIO CASTRO
CAST: JUAN BARBERINI; RAMON PUJOL
DVD VOD PECCADILLO PICTURES
RT 84 MINS; CERT 15; SPANISH/ ENGLISH SUBTITLES
REVIEW by KATHLEEN BONDAR What first seems like a commonplace guy meets guy movie against a low budget Barcelona backdrop (cue city beach and Gaudi park) with chatty conversations and predictable wrestling sex, turns out to be more intriguing.
Centre photo Ocho (Juan Barberini) and Javi (Ramón Pujol)
Ocho (Juan Barberini) an Argentine poet meets Javi (Ramón Pujol) a local making a documentary about the impending Millenium. Both thirty somethings are affable and mutually attracted to the other. There are no complications to the relationship, nothing singular about their situations or particularly revelatory about their lives. For a while all that happens is a happy fling and a wistful, nonchalant parting of ways. Then twenty years later they meet again, confess their longings and ponder what could’ve been. It’s all rather uneventful until, echoing La La Land, the idea of a long-term relationship materialises. After what seems an age, the film switches and we find the men living together as dads with a little daughter. All at once there is a depth to the characters which pushes the film beyond seeming mediocrity. Instead of a life of casual encounters perhaps Javi and Ocho might have had a complex relationship albeit with restrictions on travel and open relationships? Directed by the fashion designer Lucio Castro, with an eye for simple and effective settings, there are some endearing scenes throughout the film when the two men dance to a 90s soundtrack or sit on a roof terrace catching up on the intervening years over a bottle of wine. And even though the parental relationship is curiously sketchy, End of The Century conveys a sense of something deeper between the protagonists played with equal measures of humour and passion by Barberini and Pujol.