DVD Review - Twisted Romance

Oscar Genova (left) as Raúl and Nehuen Zapata
as Roberto in "Twisted Romance"
What I didn't get until I watched this movie a second time is that in the opening three minutes of this story we see a mom and her daughter in an orgy together. Forget about anything else that happens in this movie. Having sex with your mother right there with you is the most twisted kind of romance ever. Yet, it's a moment that's brushed over. The first time I watched the scene, I said to myself, "Wow, they know how to party in Argentina!" I said it with a tad bit of delight and titillation, but the second time I watched, knowing the incestuous nature of it, my delight and titillation turned to shock and disgust.

The focus of the movie, though, is on the relationship, not between the mother and daughter who have sex together, but between a young, gay Argentinian named Roberto and an older man named Raúl who seems to be involved in some kind of organized crime. It's twisted because Raúl is sexually aggressive, controlling and even abusive toward Roberto. Writer-director José Celestino Campusano puts the audience in a bit of a quandary. He makes the relationship such that it's somewhat understandable why Roberto would stay, but more of a case as to why he should leave. Yet, Roberto doesn't make the obvious choice and half-way through this movie we wonder why and that question isn't answered satisfactorily.

Strangely, Roberto's sister, Alejandra, who in the first three minutes has sex in an orgy alongside her own mother, then tries to have sex with her brother's gay lover with absolutely no shame and no apologies. The result of that scene is supposed to engender sympathy for Alejandra but has the opposite effect. Roberto has an affair with a sexy, Spanish tourist named César and the result of which is supposed to engender sympathy for Roberto, but the effect makes Roberto seem foolish.

Campusano does a good job of laying out why Raúl does what he does. Despite the fact that he's a criminal, his actions are the ones that make the most sense. It's not that I agree with Raúl's actions or think they're right. It's that his actions have a logic and consistency that the others lack. Everyone else's actions are all over the map.

Javier De La Vega in a sex scene
from "Twisted Romance (Vil Romance)"
I don't think that Campusano develops the character of Roberto all that well. Roberto's chief complaint while in his relationship with Raúl is that he's always passive. This is a reference, mainly to his physical position during all of their sexual encounters. The reason that Roberto has the affair with César is to change that position at least with someone else. When Roberto returns to Raúl, he tries to change that position with him but nothing more comes of it. Afterward, we have no idea what this character wants or why he's in it.

Vil Romance
Two Stars out of Five.
Not Rated But Contains graphic nudity and bloody violence.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 45 mins.
In Spanish with English Subtitles.


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