Review: END OF THE CENTURY Is A Visually Grand But Slow Romance

FIRST IMPRESSION

Though it has a good cast and great visuals, End of the Century doesn't quite explore its themes or characters with enough depth to be totally effective.
Writing
Directing
Acting
Technical Merit

End of the Century, written and directed by Lucio Castro, is a new summer romance film set in the beautiful city of Barcelona. With gorgeous visuals that take full advantage of the movie’s beautiful setting, this film is mostly solid, even if it doesn’t add anything new to the genre in terms of story.

This movie follows two men who, encountering each other on vacation in Barcelona, experience a passionate tryst and make discoveries about themselves and their pasts. Although this is a story we have seen many times before, the film is less about the plot and more about exploring the themes and the characters.

However, the pacing of the movie is where it largely suffers. Much of the film is spent meandering through the conversations and interactions that the two lead characters have together. Although many of them are important and relevant to the topics at hand, some of them feel like they last too long and don’t add particularly much to the movie’s evaluation of its themes. In these parts, the film slows down significantly to the point that you could nearly zone out of what is happening.

However, the movie addresses its themes in a way that is interesting, if not always fully developed. In many ways, the film is an evaluation of how the role of LGBTQ people in society has changed over the years. By watching the differences in the ways in which the characters conduct themselves over the two time periods, we can see how perception of their identity has changed (and also remained static, in some ways) in that twenty year gap.

end of the century beach
Juan Barberini and Ramon Pujol in Lucio Castro’s END OF THE CENTURY. Courtesy of Cinema Guild.

The movie also approaches the idea of fate, and here is where the film begins to falter. Explaining some of the more implausible elements of the story as the result of fate is a bit of a lazy move. Although this seems to be written with the intent of saying something greater about the universe and the way it operates, this message doesn’t come through clearly, instead coming across like it is trying to be insightful even though it doesn’t really know much about what it is addressing, because none of us do.

That said, the characters and the relationship between them is able to keep the movie moving forward. Both Javi and Ocho are interesting characters, particularly once their backstories are being revealed. Juan Barberini and Ramon Pujol have great chemistry together and do an excellent job of leading the film as a duo. It is this which allows the movie to be compelling enough to follow.

The visuals are also great, with some wonderful cinematography taking advantage of the majestic Spanish setting. The camera does a great job of capturing the emotion of the scenes too, owing to the performances of Barberini and Pujol, but you can’t help but feel like this is an extra layer of polish on a hollow story. Something is missing in the script to keep this from being a great film.

There is a lot going for End of the Century, but ultimately the plot is too thin and the themes aren’t explored in a compelling enough way for the movie to be fully effective. That said, great performances and visuals make it worth watching.

End of the Century hits theaters on August 18.

TRENDING THIS WEEK

Charmed | I Am Fierce | Season Trailer | The CW

Stream new episodes of Charmed Saturdays, free only on The CW App: http://go.cwtv.com/Charmedyt SUBSCRIBE: http://go.cwtv.com/Charmedyt About Charmed: After the tragic death of their mother, three sisters in a college town are stunned to discover they are witches. Soon this powerful threesome must stand together to fight the everyday and supernatural battles that all modern witches…

The Weekly | Season 1 Ep. 22: The Hot List Highlight | FX

A mysterious man emerged with an explosive claim: he said he had thousands of hours of surveillance footage from Jeffrey Epstein's mansions that showed some the most powerful men in America having sex. Then his story took a turn. Subscribe now for more The Weekly clips: http://bit.ly/SubscribeFX The Weekly is a narrative documentary news program…

1917 | Movie Review

Ashley reviews 1917. Two young British privates during the First World War are given an impossible mission: deliver a message deep in enemy territory that will stop 1,600 men, and one of the soldier's brothers, from walking straight into a deadly trap. Directed by: Sam Mendes Written by: Sam Mendes, Krysty Wilson-Cairns Cast: Dean-Charles Chapman,…

Penn & Teller: Fool Us | Inside: Merry Fool Us | The CW

Stream Penn & Teller: Fool Us free only on The CW App! SUBSCRIBE: http://go.cwtv.com/YTSubscribe About Penn & Teller: Fool Us: PENN & TELLER: FOOL US is a one-hour competition series celebrating magic and featuring the legendary duo Penn & Teller. On each episode of PENN & TELLER: FOOL US, aspiring magicians are invited to perform…

Where We Left Off on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel | Prime Video

What will Midge decide next? Will her and Joel get back together? We need answers! The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel returns tomorrow, December 6 to Prime Video. » The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel returns 12/06. Watch the current seasons 1 & 2 with your Prime Membership: http://bit.ly/MaiselPrimeVideo » SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/PrimeVideoSubscribe About The Marvelous Mrs.Maisel: In 1958 New…

All American | Official Music Video – You Don’t Ask | The CW

Check out the full music video for Coop's track, presented by Surface! Stream All American now: https://go.cwtv.com/ALLShowyt SUBSCRIBE: https://go.cwtv.com/ALLShowyt About All American: When a rising high school football player from South L.A. is recruited to play for Beverly Hills High, the wins, losses and struggles of two families from vastly different worlds - Crenshaw and…

Directing Marriage Story: Noah Baumbach | Netflix

MARRIAGE STORY is filmmaker Noah Baumbach's portrait of a marriage breaking up and a family staying together. The film stars Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver. Laura Dern, Alan Alda, and Ray Liotta co-star. Now in theaters and on Netflix 12/6. @MarriageStory on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram www.marriagestorymovie.com Watch Marriage Story, On Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/80223779 SUBSCRIBE: https://bit.ly/29qBUt7…

The Expanse – Blue Origin Cast Visit | Prime Video

Witness the intersection of hard science and science fiction and how one inspires the other. The cast of The Expanse sits down with brilliant minds from Blue Origin to discuss life beyond our planet. » The Expanse returns 12/13. Watch the current season with Prime: http://bit.ly/TheExpansePrimeVideo » SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/PrimeVideoSubscribe About The Expanse: The disappearance of…
Avatar
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here