aGLIFF 2011 (Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival)
By Don Simpson | September 15, 2011
Director: Julio Jorquera Arriagada
Writer: Julio Jorquera Arriagada
Starring: Héctor Morales, Roberto Farías, Manuela Martelli, Ramón Llao
Two Chilean men — Hugo (Héctor Morales) and Octavio (Roberto Farías) — are thrown into the ring of love just as they are each facing existential issues concerning their own sense of masculinity. Octavio is a successful boxer with an intimidating physical presence, which is not all that dissimilar to Jake La Motta (Robert DeNiro) in Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull. Octavio’s appearance plays in stark contrast to Hugo’s softer features and physical vulnerability — for Hugo, his masculinity is defined by steady employment, not strength or brawn.
Hugo is fired from his job after a foray with his boss’s daughter and Octavio must suddenly forgo his boxing career at the urging of his doctor. Hugo and Octavio opt to run off to Santiago to begin a new life together; but once they arrive, life does not get any easier. Octavio is immediately hired as a barber (a traditionally masculine role), while Hugo is left at home to fill a much more domestic role. When Hugo eventually finds work, he immediately commences a flirtatious friendship with his boss’ daughter, Jenny (Manuela Martelli). Needless to say, Hugo and Octavio’s relationship begins to crack, then it shatters.
Hugo and Octavio are tragic figures not only because of their doomed-from-the-start love affair, but because they are tirelessly wrestling with their own masculinity. My Last Round is a brutal — yet occasionally meditative — discussion of attraction, strength, control and financial stability and how those things relate to society’s definitions of manhood; all the while My Last Round provides a frank dialogue about love, sex, loss and death. Being that My Last Round is book-ended by funerals, death is always looming…we just never know when that final knock-out is going to occur and to whom.