Hugo (Héctor Morales) is a young man living in a small community in the south of Chile. He becomes fascinated by the slightly older boxer, Octavio (Roberto Farías), but when the middle-aged man makes a move on him, he’s initially unsure what to do. However soon they embark on a passionate affair, which due to where they live needs to remain completely secret.
After Octavio is told he cannot fight anymore and Hugo loses a job, moving to the big city seems to offer new possibilities for both them and their relationship. However they soon discover that while the new start offers them plenty of opportunities, they can’t completely leave all their problems behind, and the city may cause some new ones. That’s not least because Hugo is given the chance to be someone completely new, while Octavio has had to leave behind the one thing he was truly good at, boxing.
South America is starting to produce some very interest gay-themed movies, and while My Last Round isn’t one of the very best, it’s still a good movie.
It gives the feeling of being set in a country on the cusp of change, stuck between the possibility of taking on a more liberal attitude to things such as gay people, but still being trapped by tradition. It’s also interesting that while some similar films have painted LGBT people in countries such as Chile as being totally modern and liberal but trapped by the homophobia around then, in My Last Round it acknowledges that growing up in such an atmosphere leaves marks on LGBT people and their attitude to themselves.
It’s a film that manages to be romantic, intense, often pretty sad and sometimes difficult to watch. There is a sense that the whole thing could be a little tighter, but it’s still a very good film. The one thing that really gave me pause though is its attitude to violence, including a moment where it almost seems to suggest that being punched by your boyfriend is dramatic but not anything to be surprised about or which to condemn. Octavio is a boxer, so what should you expect?
What leads up to that is very good though, including Hugo accidentally getting a girlfriend. He doesn’t immediately put an end to it because it appears to offers him a sense of normality, even if it’s a fantasy normality. However when he’s going home to the man he’s supposed to love, it’s not something that can end well.
Overall Verdict: Involving, romantic and often quite dark, My Last Round could do with being a little tighter but it’s still a heartfelt, personal look at life in a country stuck between tradition and modernity for LGBT people.
Reviewer: Tim Isaac