Broken Sky

"Very Good"

Broken Sky Review


It was about 30 minutes into Broken Sky when I finally realized that the film's two protagonists were probably never going to speak. And I was right. Other than a few words here and there, the two young gay lovers who fall in love/lust at a Mexican university never say anything, and the fact that this de facto silent movie runs two hours and 20 minutes makes it a real rarity, not to mention a challenge. Heterosexual audiences in particular may find their patience strained since the periodic sex scenes that liven things up won't be of much interest to them.

But the movie is worth your time. Writer/director Julián Hernández has crafted a finely wrought work of camera choreography, a film that comes across like a modern dance piece or performance art project. Without words, the two lovers act with their eyes and bodies, striking carefully plotted poses and circling around each other -- and the camera -- in fascinating ways. Alejandro Canto's cinematography is masterful and innovative.

The story itself couldn't be more minimal. Gerardo (Miguel Angel Hoppe) and Jonas (Fernando Arroyo) are enjoying an intense and passionate affair. Soon, however, Jonas's eye wanders to another boy (Ignacio Pereda) and in his devastation, Gerardo turns to a hunky young university custodian (Alejandro Rojo) (who's been sort of stalking him) for solace. Every once in a while, an ominous-sounding narrator who will remind you of the narrator from Y Tu Mama Tambien makes some pretentious statements about love. Will Gerardo and Jonas find their way back to each other before the two hours plus are up? Watch and wait.

A couple of standout scenes highlight the film's craftsmanship. In one, the two boys chase each other through library stacks as the camera races around and editing creates impossible shifts of position that leave you momentarily disoriented. In the other, the two boys argue (with their eyes) while sitting on stadium bleachers. As they move away and then back toward each other in a very wide shot, you can easily see the work that went into the scene. Every step has clearly been scrupulously choreographed for maximum storytelling impact. They may not speak, but their body language speaks volumes.

It's intriguing to remember that director Hernández has been here before. In his previous film, A Thousand Clouds of Peace, another lovelorn gay teen wanders around (in black and white, no less) without saying much. And in a short film called David, Hernández takes his gimmick to the limit, telling the tale of a mute gay teen who picks up a guy on the street. It's hard to know what fetishes/obsessions/issues are at work here, but they do yield interesting moviemaking.

Aka El Cielo Dividido.

Did a guy just run by here yelling about Adrian?



Broken Sky

Facts and Figures

Run time: 140 mins

In Theaters: Friday 29th September 2006

Distributed by: Strand Releasing

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 40%
Fresh: 6 Rotten: 9

IMDB: 5.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Julián Hernández

Producer:

Starring: Miguel Ángel Hoppe as Gerardo, Fernando Arroyo as Jonas

Also starring:

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