“The Blonde One”
A Sensual Romance
Film auteur Marco Berger has become one of the darlings of gay cinema and we await his work. Berger’s new film, “The Blonde One” is set in the suburbs of Buenos Aires where Gabriel (Gaston Re) has just moved in with his colleague, Juan (Alfonso Baron). Gabo is quite shy and reluctant to follow Juan’s wandering hands and meaningful looks. With a revolving door of beauties streaming out of Juan’s bedroom. Yet we cannot help but sense the attraction between Gavo and Juan. What starts out as a sexual relationship based on convenience of location quickly develops into a tender and intimate relationship which is as sweet as it is heartbreaking.
It all began because Juan’s brother, who had been his roommate moved out and Juan needed to find someone new and that turned out to be Gabriel (the blonde one), a colleague at the Woodworking shop where they are both employed.The two men couldn’t be more different. Juan is a party animal always filling the apartment with his drinking buddies and a whole stream of girls who end up in his bed. Gabo is quiet and subdued and seemingly friendless and the only highlight is life is going to his family home where his parents are raising his young daughter.
Gabo is fascinated by Juan’s life and is even more intrigued by his meaningful glances and his wandering hands. It takes a while time before the two men actually act on their mutual attraction and what started out as a sexual relationship eventually develops more deeply than either man had imagined when they completely fall for each other. They conduct their relationship with the outmost secrecy with Juan carrying on as before with both the drinking and the womanizing but now an uncomfortable Gabo is watching him.
Argentinian Gay auteur Marco Berger has had some very successful moves to his name but this film shows his remarkable talent for sheer homoeroticism but the skillful way he allows this sensual and touching relationship to gently unfold. The two lead actors are compelling and give very touching performances. We become totally immersed in their relationship even though there is always the uncertainty it will survive when its discovered by the outside.
Director Berger presents the story of a love affair in a series of uninflected, mostly static shots, letting the camera linger on characters’ faces as they register attraction, desire, frustration, jealousy and love. Largely wordless, actor Re brings inner life to the shy, yearning Gabriel and does so with beauty and grace. In fact this entire film is one of beauty and grace.