Main cast: Rafael Cardoso (Thomás), João Gabriel Vasconcellos (Francisco), Júlia Lemmertz (Julieta), Fábio Assunção (Alexandre), Jean Pierre Noher (Pedro), and Louise Cardoso (Rosa)
Director: Aluizio Abranches
When Thomás was born, his eyes remained closed for two weeks for some reason. When he did finally open them, the first thing he saw was his older brother, the then five-year old Francisco. Hence, a love story is made, as the two become very, very close as they grow up, much to the consternation of their father Pedro. Their mother Julieta prefers to think that it’s just those two being brothers that get along well, so maybe it’s a good thing that those two finally consummate their love shortly after her funeral, as she won’t be around to see them going at it like happy bunnies. Alas, Thomás is a swimmer who is about to be sent to Russia for further training for the Olympics, which means that the two brothers will finally be separated for the first time in their lives…
Okay, if you are expecting sleazy fun from From Beginning to End – or Do Começo ao Fim in Portuguese – you are going to be very disappointed, as the clothes fall off only after about the midway point of this 90-something minute film, and even then, director and screenwriter Aluizio Abranches wants this to be an “artistic” film, so expect the naughty scenes to be filmed like a ballet. While a hilariously maudlin piano track playing in the background, Francisco takes off one item of clothing as he stares into his brother’s eyes, Thomás takes off one item of clothing, then Francisco takes off one more, back to Thomás, and I burst out laughing. These two then quote lines from Shakespearean plays or something, and it’s all groans from me from then on. There is even a scene when the two of them dance slow-motion naked like they are in Swan Lake. Throughout everything, some of the most maudlin soundtracks I’ve ever come across play on and on. The whole thing is so ridiculous, it’s like an erotic fanfiction written by a twelve-year old made in a film directed by a fifteen-year old, all under this belief that artistry is the same as having everyone talk and move slow motion on screen.
Despite its combo of incest and homosexuality, this is a shockingly dull film. Both men are played by guys who have no right to be this hot, for one, and the lives of Francisco and Thomás are so easy and comfortable that all their issues come off as trivial. There’s nothing more boring than hot guys living in big houses and having plenty of hot friends, complaining that, oh no, they are going to be temporarily separated and that’s the worst thing ever. There isn’t even any conflict stemming from the big brother going deep into the little brother’s brown town – everyone who may be in the way is conveniently killed off before they even raise a fuss, and everyone else is either oblivious to or willing to hand-wave away the brotherly snogging. The end result is a big, resounding round of “Who cares?”.
On the bright side, as I’ve mentioned, the guys are hot to look at, and they aren’t shy about showing skin when the scene calls for it. Rafael Cordoso has a nice rounded rear end, while João Gabriel Vasconcellos happily shows off his tackle. Alas, the love scenes aren’t as many as the plot would suggest, and whatever “sexy” moments present here are ruined by the overwrought soundtrack and ridiculous choreography.
Watch From Beginning to End if you must, but be prepared to skip through all the boring stuff just to skip to the naked bits parts, and even then, I recommend watching with the volume turned down or, better still, switched off completely.