“Twisted Romance “
Love, Jealousy, Fear
We all know people who either or have been in relationships that should not have been and in “Twisted Romance”, director Jose Campusano shows us one such relationship and it does not make for comfortable viewing. That statement is not to be taken negatively because we learn from discomfort and many times uncomfortable situations carry a very strong message.
Roberto (Nehuen Zapata) is a brooding teenager who sees Raul (Oscar Genova) as a mystery. Anyone else would not have tolerated him for a moment but there is something in Raul that draws Roberto in. Raul believes in brutal sex and Roberto, instead of walking away from it especially when he sees how bad things are becoming, movies in with Raul who is in his fifties and he even introduces him to his mother and his sister. Roberto should have fallen in love with Cesar, a young man travelling through Argentina who falls for him after one night together. The problem is that Roberto is in love with Raul, a man involved in the illegal sale of guns and is violent and quite possibly guilty of murder.
The director certainly shows us the dark side of gay relationships and this is not something we usually see in the movies and certainly have not seen much of in the new queer cinema. Raul is depicted as a disgusting person and certainly not partner material. His wife had already left him and took their daughter with her. Roberto does not seem to understand the situation he is in and it is not until the end of the film that he sees Raul for who he really is.
What is interesting is that Campusano gives us a love scene between the two and it is quite bold especially due to the feelings that he makes us sense. We are not going to like Raul no matter what and no love scene could possibly change the way we feel about him. But he also does something else—he shows us the lives of those living in the poorer section of Buenos Aires and how they survive. The director filmed this with a hand held camera and then gives us a film about an unlikely and unhealthy relationship and involves Roberto’s mother and sister. There is both physical and sexual violence but we know from the title what we are going to see and yet we watch. To me, that says something about the nature and quality of the film.