Twisted Romance (Breaking Glass Pictures, NR)

twistedromance 75They’re all still pretty matter-of-fact about life choices that would be shocking to most people.

 

Seldom has a film been more aptly titled than Twisted Romance, a low-budget feature set in the suburbs of Bueños Aires. In fact, there are several twisted things going on in this film: Besides an abusive relationship between the handsome, young Roberto (Nehuén Zapata) and the scraggly and much older Raúl (Oscar Génova), there’s also the small matter of Roberto’s mother and sister prostituting themselves out for sex parties. Clearly, this family doesn’t live in the nicest part of town, but they’re all still pretty matter-of-fact about life choices that would be shocking to most people.

I don’t have a problem with the subject matter of Twisted Romance—in fact, I think it’s good for films to explore all kinds of relationships and ways of existing—but writer/director José Celestino Campusano doesn’t seem to be too much interested in anything about his characters beyond their sexual habits. He’s also not much into storytelling, so we never learn enough about the characters to care about them, nor do we get sufficiently involved in the narrative to want to know what happens next. That makes for a dull movie, and the sex scenes aren’t that much of a sell, either. While some of the couplings are shocking (assuming you find rape shocking, as I certainly do), Twisted Romance is really not all that explicit, so if you’re looking for outright pornography, this is definitely not the film for you.

I have another problem with Twisted Romance: Its technical quality is similar to what a careless high school student might produce the first time they pick up a camera. The film is shot on handheld video, apparently using only natural light, and the mostly matter-of-fact camera work is jarringly interrupted from time to time by unnecessarily attention-grabbing shots from odd angles. Even the subtitles are full of sloppy mistakes. The poor technical quality of the cinematography and use of mostly ambient sound do give you a fairly unvarnished feel for the locations featured in the film, but that’s not nearly enough to recommend that you devote 105 minutes of your life to watching it.

Extras on the disk include seven minutes of deleted scenes, the trailer, and the trailers for some other Breaking Glass films. | Sarah Boslaugh

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