From Beginning to End (Movie)

Title: From Beginning to End
Director: Aluizio Abranches
Starring: Julia Lemmertz, Fabio Assuncao, Jean Pierre Noher, Louise Cardoso, Lucas Cotrim, Gabriel Kauffman, Rafael Cardoso, Joao Gabriel Vasconcellos
Distributers: TLA Releasing
Buy Link Amazon Buy/Watch Link
Genre: M/M Drama/Romance
Country of Origin/Language: Brazil/Portuguese with English Subtitles
Rating: R/Unrated
Released: 2009
Length:  96 minutes
Rating: 5 stars out of 5

 

 

 

 

A guest review by Tj

Summary Review: Despite the controversial subject matter of the intimate relationship between half brothers, I fell in love with them as young boys and then again as adults.

The Blurb: One of the most controversial gay-themed films since Cruising, this Brazilian romantic drama centers on the intimate bond between two men – made problematic with them being brothers. As children, Francisco and his younger half-brother Thomás, were best friends and unusually close to each other- so much so that their intimacy brings vocal concerns from relatives that maybe they are too close. But the parents reluctantly brush away the gossip. Fast-forward several years with the now strikingly handsome, bronzed young men taking their childhood intensity into a torrid sexual relationship. But can their love survive society’s discerning gaze? Spectacularly shot amidst the mountains, beaches and grand estates of Brazil, this sweeping erotic drama does not just live on the controversial subject matter but rather is a strikingly evocative romance of two men fighting against societal conventions.

The Review: To be perfectly honest I had read about the film From Beginning to End several months ago, but because of the subject matter, put off seeing it. I don’t have any particular affinity for twin-cest, so the thought of a romance between half brothers made me a little uncomfortable. But reading how well this Brazilian import had been received made me put aside my initial hesitation and I’m very glad that I did.

From Beginning to End is the story of half brothers Thomas & Francisco initially as preteen boys played by Lucas Cotrim and Gabriel Kauffmann. They live a seemingly carefree life where they are constantly together playing and fighting, but always fiercely loyal and protective of each other. Young Thomas idolizes his older brother and wants to grow up and be just like him.

And it is plainly obvious how Francisco cares for is younger brother, even when Thomas tries to irritate him as younger brothers are wont to do. In one scene Thomas is caught playing with his father Alexandre’s paints, which he has been told not to do. When Francisco walks in on Alexandre yelling at Thomas for misbehaving, he pulls Thomas into the protection of his arms and tells Alexandre that he will take care of Thomas from now on – forever.

I was very impressed with the talent of the two young actors portraying Thomas and Francisco as children. They made the strong connection of brothers seem very real, and although there was nothing sexual about their youthful relationship, the foundation of their lifelong bond was forged in the innocence of youth. 41Lef6+KCuL

As young adults Thomas and Francisco (played by Rafael Cardoso & Joao Gabriel Vasconcellos) still maintain a very close bond. It is at this point that their relationship intensifies and evolves into a sexual one. Here’s where I expected to have to turn off the movie, but their first encounter is handled so beautifully that I was absolutely transfixed and couldn’t stop watching.

It certainly didn’t hurt that actors Rafael Cardoso and Joao Gabriel Vasconcellos are very beautiful men, and we get to see quite a bit of them. :flirt: But more importantly, these guys really know how to act. Their scenes together are so well done, so beautiful, so freaking sexy that I fell in love with them all over again. Their chemistry is the perfect combination of youthful playfulness and adult attraction.

71vR0YtWvALNow, there is no graphic sex – the love scenes are very artistic, but man do these boys make the most of it. Their kisses alone made me feel the longing in each of them for the other. They aren’t just getting their kicks, these young men need each other like the air that they breathe.

This was so masterfully illustrated when at one point in the movie, there is a chance that the adult Thomas and Francisco may have to be separated. The way that the actors portrayed their fear and hurt and need for each other with a simple look, a clutching hug and fierce kisses was breath taking.

Understandably, this won’t be everybody’s cup of tea, so I suggest you read a few other reviews and certainly do as I did and rent before buying. BTW, for those of you who love a HEA, yes you get one. I quite frankly can’t even imagine a world where Thomas and Francisco aren’t together. I highly recommend From Beginning to End.

57 comments

  • Thanks for the review,
    i just watched the film and found it sadly disappointing. The first half excels in building a strong, potentially powerful story, The second half becomes a Fairy Tale….beautiful and enchanting, but so completely divorced from reality that the story ceases to have any credibility or power. By completely eliminating any conflict such a relationship would incur, it becomes “J]just another love story”. The fact that it’s between Brothers is lost in a luscious HAE dreamscape………. A sadly wasted opportunity of a film.

    Reply
  • Welcome back TJ, such an awesome review, bad for my pocket, but really awesome. I can rent it, but I will buy it, because I highly suspect I will watch it again. Especially if you say there is a happy ending 🙂

    Reply
    • Thanks Sirius! I really thought the movie would be disturbing, given the subject matter, but it was just beautiful. The performances are so good, that as Ben said, you really can’t believe that the actors aren’t in love too. And no worries Sirius, you’ll be smiling like a romantic fool at the end. 😀

      Reply
  • Now this movie was made of awesome. When it was first recommended I had the same hesitations as you, but as I watched, I was amazed by how much I liked this movie. it has become one of my favorite comfort movies!

    I loved your review. When i read through it you voiced exactly what I thought!

    Reply
    • Thanks Larissa! You nailed it exactly. It was all kinds of awesome, which surprised the heck out of me. It’s now one of my comfort movies too! Who’d a thunk?

      Reply
  • Coincidentally I JUST saw this movie about a week ago, and I love it. Thought it ended awfully abruptly. But it was powerful and as you say, I fell in love with them both as boys and men. I wish the change from boy to men could have been smoother and I found it hard to believe they waited that long, but it has to be about the sexiest, most romantic, erotic love-making I’ve seen in quite awhile. It is almost impossible to believe the two actors were not really in love. Powerful stuff. I liked this movie in the neighborhood of “Shelter,” my favorite gay movie…except for maybe “Love! Valor! Compassion!” Thanks for the review!

    Reply
    • Hey Ben – I know what you mean about the ending seeming a little abrupt, but I imagine there wasn’t anywhere to really go after that. It is amazing how the viewer comes to love the boys and then again the men they become.
      As far as their waiting until they were adults to be together, I took it as they couldn’t do it when they were living with their mother. They do talk about how things changed for them with what happens right before they are first together, so I think that event was supposed to be the catalyst that changes their brotherly relationship into something else. that’s how I rationalized it.
      The acting was so good that I agree – it was hard to think they were not in love in real life too. Very talented guys.

      Reply
  • I adore this movie. I first discovered it existed through a fan video on youtube – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2LhDqF98yM and hunted it down through a friend in south america. Absolutely beautiful. I think it was a brilliant portrayal of a consensual and *not* disturbing incestuous relationship. Quite the contrary, their relationship is breathtaking. I cried lots during this one! Great review!

    Reply
    • Thanks Fae! It’s just the best movie. I was so unsure of what to expect and couldn’t believe how engaged I was in their story and how much I wanted it to all work out for Thomas and Francisco. And it was so not disturbing, which was the opposite of what I expected. The scene that I have a shot of at the end of the review was so moving. Just seeing the picture makes me ache inside for them.

      Reply
    • Thank you Dianne! Please do come back and let me know what you think afterwards – good or bad. I hope that you enjoy the film, but I want to know either way.

      Reply
  • Beautiful review, Teej. I’ve seen several clips of this movie on You Tube and have felt the emotional impact just through those. Unless it’s hockey, I don’t watch television anymore. I’m definitely going to make an exception for this film. Knowing you loved it enough to buy it is just extra motivation.

    Triumphant return, snookums. 😉

    Reply

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