Esteros review by Adrijan Arsovski - Cinema Paradiso
Esteros is hardly a surprising film, given the majority of events play out in the same fashion as one would imagine they will. To this extent, the whole structure of the film doesn’t break any conventions, nor it has to – it just is and the audience is expected to know this and cherish it. In particularly, the flashback sequences are somewhat clichéd to an extent they become predictable, but eve this fact does not make Esteros less of a charming cinematic experience. Go into this by knowing that it won’t surprise you, nor shake the foundations of modern film; enjoy Esteros for what it is: a romantic telling of a deeply personal story of two lovers.
The film starts by introducing our two main protagonists, Matias (Ignacio Rogers) and Jeronimo (played by Esteban Masturini). When we are first introduced to these characters, they are still teenagers and live their ordinary lives without any big revelations or reality-tearing conflicts. This is where the film’s weakest point can be located, mainly in its inability to introduce the main conflict in a natural way. Namely, Esteros plays around with the idea of separated lovers, but it does so in a way that artificially separates the two protagonists (despite the natural flow of the story), and pairs them again in the future by, again, artificially created circumstances. For the paradox to be complete however, this is also where the movie shines.
It is exactly this interpersonal relationship of Matias and Jeronimo the crucial idea that moves the whole experience forward. As they age, so does their dynamic change – which is depicted with some personal charm with kudos to both the two young and older actors as well. For instance, when they first meet after years of absence, there is a certain tension in the air as they try to adjust their manners in regards to being in the close proximity of each other. In fact, the tension between these two is so palpable that one can cut it with a knife.
In terms of cinematography, Esteros is a very quiet film, and I don’t mean this in a bad way. Its quietness adds to its uniqueness, and that in turn builds the narrative and accompanies the story in a very precise manner. For instance, we know that Matias and Jeronimo would end up being together in the end, since to do it otherwise would represent a cardinal sin with everything that was established in the film thus far. And thusly, Esteros is not so much about the destination, as it is more about the journey itself (overused paraphrase, but fitting).
To conclude, Esteros is not your run-on-the-mil, typical queer drama; this film has something going for it, and that’s real emotion folks.