From Hawaii, by Marco Berger.
Just like Plan B is Hawaii the kind of film which grows upon repeated viewing, since you find there are a lot more nuances to pick up on. However, Hawaii is a much more obscure film in comparison with Plan B, and I didn’t find it easy to discern what Eugenio and Martin are feeling and thinking. While the sexual tension between the two sustained me, I had to watch it again to understand it better.
A testament to Manuel Vignau being a truly terrific actor, is the fact that I find it difficult to reconcile his performance as Bruno with the one as Eugenio. He doesn’t look or act the same at all! While Bruno is a rather immature (but charming) guy who can’t stop fidgeting and giggling. Eugenio, on the other hand, is an intellectual, quite nerdy and rather introvert guy who’s very still, very controlled, and who doesn’t let much emotion shine through. And since Mateo Chiarino’s Martin is also quite still and reserved, it’s not easy to relate to them. At least not at first.
First, I couldn’t quite grasp why Eugenio would be so against a little romp in the hay with Martin, no strings attached. Why does he take it so seriously? When I watched the film again, I noticed much more how Eugenio is bossing Martin around; Martin says no (he always says no) and Eugenio insists. It’s always nice things, like take shower, have some cakes, go there, sit here, but it’s still very bossy.
Eugenio is a good person, who sincerely wants to help Martin but he’s acutely aware of their different positions in life. And so’s Martin (which is why he keeps saying no, he doesn’t want to make any fuss. He just wants to keep his head down and get on with it. That’s why he’s so incredibly careful with everything, including Eugenio). And so Eugenio doesn’t want to take advantage, he doesn’t want Martin to think he has to sleep with him in order to keep his job, or maybe even as part of the job offered. He thinks Martin is offering himself because he feels he has to. And so believes he has to refuse him to remain morally upstanding. (Thus just accentuating his rather arrogant view of their different status. He’s being benevolent, without accounting for the fact that Martin is his own person with his own will.) Martin, on the other hand, probably thinks Eugenio is refusing him because he isn’t good enough.
I can’t quite grasp what significance those Hawaii slides have, though. Is it just a representation of the fact that they share a childhood, share memories making their current situation in life less important? I gather Eugenio all of sudden remembers whatever Martin was so happily talking about earlier, about the pineapples. But what was the memory? And why was it so significant? What was it with those photos which made them BOTH understand what the other wanted, without even saying it?
Nevertheless, it’s another gem of a film. :)