Lorena (Ana Burgos) and Diego (Marcelo Gutiérrez) decide to move to the coast of Chile together but find their relationship tested when they meet Vicente (Francisco Dañobeitía). Diego begins to develop feelings for the young man while Ana is also drawn to him, and Vicente finds himself pulled into the middle of their relationship. As Diego and Vicente’s relationship blossoms, they find themselves having to face up to their feelings and actions when they go on a camping trip together with Lorena, who has noticed that Diego’s behaviour towards her has changed.
‘The Sea’ by director Marco Antonio Núñez, written with George Lembach and Franco Bertozzi, is an exploration of sexual awakening and hidden desires, playing out with the gorgeous backdrop of Chile. Both Lorena and Diego meet Vicente, but under different circumstances, and it’s Diego that’s more affected by the chance encounter. Despite being in a romantic relationship with Lorena, he’s inexplicably drawn to Vicente and his feelings of lust begin to overpower his commitment to her. Vicente has little regard for his actions, instead acting upon his own feelings and bringing Diego out of himself in a way that he’s clearly suppressed.
Interestingly ‘The Sea’ doesn’t go down the typical secret affair route, instead opting for a more subtle approach to storytelling. If you’re expecting fierce confrontations, hysterical tears and accusations of betrayal, then you aren’t going to find them here. Instead the story digs into Lorena and Diego’s relationship, and in doing so it highlights the lack of communication some couples experience. It even goes as far as to suggest that being open with your partner could lead to surprising and unexpected results.
The film does hit some more familiar beats though. Diego is wracked with guilt over his behaviour, even if it doesn’t stop him continuing his affair, and there is a push and pull between him and Vicente that you worry may boil over into an act of aggression. Lorena on the other hand can’t quite put her finger on why Diego is acting strangely and an unexpected aggressive attempted sexual encounter with him causes their relationship to fraction even further.
The star of the show here is without a doubt Francisco Dañobeitía as Vicente. While Marcelo Gutiérrez and Ana Burgos are great as the central couple, it’s Dañobeitía who draws you in. His portrayal of Vicente is perfect and he finds the balance between wide-eyed naivety and the forceful sexual desires of his character. You can understand why he catches the eye of Diego and Ana, and he really makes you believe the character.
‘The Sea’ is perhaps a little too contemplative in its approach and its understated way of exploring its story won’t work for every viewer. That being said, it’s a refreshing take on a couple whose relationship hits an unexpected curveball and I appreciated that Núñez and his fellow writers chose to tell their story a different way. I wish there had been a firmer ending too as things are very much left up in the air and that wasn’t wholly satisfying.
Cast: Marcelo Gutiérrez, Francisco Dañobeitía, Ana Burgos Director: Marco Antonio Núñez Writer: Marco Antonio Núñez Certificate: 18 Duration: 78 mins Released by: TLA Releasing Release date: 2nd May 2022 Buy ‘The Sea’ now