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
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.
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.
Now, 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.