Ocho (Juan Barberini) and Javi (Ramon Pujol) have a chance encounter in Barcelona and over the course of a day they enjoy an intimate sexual experience. Following their hook-up, Javi points out that he believes that they have met before and throughout their say together, they look back to the past and ponder on what the future could have held for them had they become a couple.
End of the Century is the feature film debut for fashion designer turned writer/director Lucio Castro. The first 10 minutes of the film is dialogue free as Castro allows us to see into Ocho’s world as he goes about his day. Once he locks eyes on Javi, the dialogue kicks in as the two men are instantly attracted to one another and waste no time – well not much time as they have a conversation about condoms that delays their hook-up – jumping into bed together.
When they reunite later in the day, that’s when Javi mentions that he believes they’ve met before. It’s at this point in the film where you have to decide whether or not you’re going to go along for the ride. The action unexpectedly jumps to 20 years earlier and unfolds the story of how Ocho and Javi originally met. The same actors play the characters but there’s not attempt to make them look any different than they do in the present day. Honestly, I found that an odd choice and it did hamper my ability to fully lose myself in what was happening.
The same is true when you get a glimpse at what a future for Ocho and Javi could have looked like. They look exactly as they do in the present day. That being said both lead actors are strong and their chemistry is palpable. It’s likely they’ll win you over with their performances so you can probably let the lack of aging go once you get used to it. The film is elevated by a strong turn from Mía Maestro who appears as Ocho’s friend Sonia in the flashbacks.
End of the Century is a beautifully put together film and you can tell that Lucio Castro has a keen eye for the details. He captures his lead actors and their surroundings superbly, and the film is never dull to look at. The plot does meander in parts but the overall story is one that draws you in and holds your attention. You may wonder how on earth Ocho doesn’t remember Javi, especially once their back story unfolds, but if you just accept what you see on screen, you’ll find plenty to enjoy here.
Cast: Juan Barberini, Ramon Pujol, Mía Maestro Director: Lucio Castro Writer: Lucio Castro Certificate: 18 Duration: 84 mins Released by: Peccadillo Pictures Release date: 21st February 2020