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Thursday, 29 January 2015

Bloo's Reviews | Do Começo ao Fim

"Being able to surrender to someone else is the best thing in life. True love starts then, in this unconditional giving. Personal life is only worth it when you believe."
Do Começo ao Fim

This review may contain spoilers.

More than two years ago (gosh, I can't believe it's been that long!) I watched a Brazilian movie called Do Começo ao Fim (From Beginning To End). It’s a movie about half brothers Francisco (João Gabriel Vasconcellos) and Thomás (Rafael Cardoso) who share a special bond from a young age which develops into a incestuous homosexual relationship when they are older. They share the same mother, but different fathers and there’s about five years in age difference between them. Francisco is the older brother and Thomás the younger. 

Now I guess the first reaction of many people who read about this film will be disgust at the prospect of a film that centres around am incestuous homosexual relationship. Maybe I’ve been on the internet so long that I’ve become immune to being shocked or uneasy about fictional depictions of taboo subjects. However, once you get passed the fact they’re brothers it really is just a love story.

The thing with this film is that they could have played out so many clichés as they do with many LGBT storylines. The shame, guilt, conflict, focus too much on the sex and the idea one or both characters must be damaged in some way. It could have, much like in many films with LGBT characters, had tragic ending that sees the couple all too often not end up together or even worse one or both dead. You would think considering this was no ordinary homosexual couple the likelihood of the ending not being so rosy would be greater. Before I watched the film I read some reviews on it and some actually complained the brothers didn’t encounter enough conflict. The idea their mother, father and step father could see their relationship forming from a young age and never tried to prevent it, even if it made them uneasy, didn’t seem realistic. That because the movie lacked conflicted, there wasn't enough drama.

I think those people missed the point of the film entirely. They thought the creator Aluizio Abranches was relying too heavily on the taboo subject matter to give the film interest. I think this is a very cynical view of the film. For me the movie was about acceptance of love in unconventional circumstances and the idea love tops everything. By this I don’t just mean for the boys, I mean for their parents also. Too often in movies parents say harsh things, generally try to change what they don’t like and sometimes disown their children. In this film the love the mother has for her boys outweighs whatever society and even she might feel about what is happening between them. She’s understanding and tells one of them if he ever needs to talk to her about what is happening, even if he doesn’t understand it yet (he’s only around 10 or 11 at this point), that she is there for him and he never has to feel ashamed. 

In another review I read someone said the film didn’t need conflict because the conflict was within the viewer. Which I think for many people watching this movie is probably true. There’s no getting away from the fact that in real life the idea of incest is gross, because you’re thinking of it in relation to your own family and how you feel about them. However as you watch this movie and how delicately their relationship is formed when they were children and how it develops over time you can’t help but feel the love. You end up almost wondering how can it be wrong to love someone that much. Again, too often these types of relationships are over sexualised. It’ll be about them catching a glimpse of the other in the shower or whatever, maybe even one being manipulated into it or something. Obviously they had sex, but even how it was scripted was all about the love they had for each other. One of the most beautiful parts of the movie is just after they’ve made love and they talk about how and why the love each other. One of my favourite lines is when Thomás says to Francisco,

"I love you because to understand our love they’d need to turn the world upside down. I love you because you could love somebody else, yet still you love me. Just me.” 

A lot of the credit for my love of this film must also go to the actors involved in the movie, particularly boys who played Francisco and Thomás as children and João and Rafael who played them as adults. Both pairings had great loving chemistry. I know I’ve rambled on quite a bit, but I just really loved this film. Although I understand why some people would feel uneasy about the subject matter, I think the movie really does provoke a lot of thought about love.

Director: Aluizio Abranches
Stars: Fábio Assunção, Júlia Lemmertz, Gabriel Kaufmann, Lucas Cotrim, João Gabriel Vasconcellos and Rafael Cardoso
Rated: 18+ (adult content)


  1. I'm such a sucker for good quotes, especially romantic ones, so now I definitely want to see this! Thanks for the review Bloo! :)

    Chowing Down by the Bay

    1. Aha, me too! I love a good quote. Thanks for reading it! :D xo

  2. I really enjoyed reading through this! It's a shame some people have been so critical and missed the message the creator wanted to get across. This film sounds lovely :)

    Style Sunrise ☀


    1. Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. It's admittedly very taboo subject matter, but I think having an open mind is a good thing. :)



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