José (Miguel Diosado) and David (Carlos Mestanza) were together for seven years before eventually splitting up and deciding to go their separate ways. Having not seen each other in a long time, the former lovers agree to meet up at La Palma Island, the place they met and fell in love, to see if they can give their relationship another shot. Immediately falling into bed together, José and David naïvely believe that they can rekindle what they once had but a wild few days tests their relationship and stirs up past issues.
‘8 Years’ is an interesting concept from Jd Alcazar that may just prove that when people split up, they should probably stay that way. No couple breaks up for the fun of it and often it comes after a large amount of resentment builds up, or unsolvable issues prove too much to overcome. José and David find themselves falling back into an easy pattern starting with sex and then trying to tackle the differences each of them has.
Once they arrive a La Palma Island, they meet up with their friends Lucía (María Maroto) and Fayna (Natalia Rodríguez) and it doesn’t take long before the cracks show. One minute the couple is behaving like they’re in the first throes of getting to know one another, the next they’re at each other’s throats. After being arrested for streaking through the streets, José and David are forced to really think about what they mean to each other, and what they want.
The turning point comes with the introduction of Tito Raúl (Sergio Momo), a confident and handsome sexually fluid party boy who exacerbates the issues that exist between José and David. A wild night with Raúl leads to some poor drug-induced decision making that turns into jealousy and anger. At the point the film transforms into something totally different, more akin to an acid trip than a particularly coherent story. That unfortunately becomes the film’s undoing as the central relationship between José and David feels like it takes a backseat to the crazy shenanigans that Raúl introduces into the dynamic.
While the plot may go a little left of centre, and lose the audience at times, the performances of the lead three actors are very good. Miguel Diosdado is particularly good as José, the more open and freer of the two main characters, but it’s Sergio Momo, who audiences may recognise from his time on Netflix’s hit series ‘Élite’, that steals the show. Momo basks in being a troublemaker bringing out Raúl’s naughtiness in a way that still keeps the audience on his side.
‘8 Years’ has an interesting premise and if the story had kept on track, it would have been an excellent film. I personally was more interested in the dynamic between José and David than I was about the drugs and violence they get caught up in. While the film does make a valid point, and reaches a conclusion that feels inevitable, I would have loved it to dig much deeper into the central couple’s original relationship. It would have given more context to understand why the two men have so much difficulty rekindling their relationship.
Cast: Miguel Diosdado, Carlos Mestanza, Sergio Momo, Natalia Rodríguez, María Maroto Director: Jd Alcazar Writer: Jd Alcazar Certificate: 15 Duration: 97 mins Released by: TLA Releasing Release date: 23rd January 2023 Buy ‘8 Years’ now