VOD Review - My Last Round (Mi Último Round)

Roberto Farías as Octavio, an aging,
epileptic boxer in "My Last Round"
A poster on the wall in one scene reads August 2009, which is around the time the movie was shot. It premiered at film festivals in 2011 and was released this past year on DVD and VOD. It's set in Chile and takes place mostly in or near the city of Santiago. It centers around a handsome but aging, heavyweight boxer. He's retired but still spars at his old boxing gym where he lives. He pays rent by working as a barber.

There is a similar premise here to the FX series Lights Out (2011). The former boxer named Octavio is held back from getting into the ring professionally due to health concerns. Octavio is actually epileptic. Because of brain damage as well, he's told that he can't box ever again or else he might die. The FX series created a financial motivation to get its main character back in the ring. Octavio doesn't have a compelling financial motivation. He's not rich, but he's not struggling either. His motivation just comes from a deep-seated passion for boxing.

When Octavio is on his jogs, he normally passes by a house or apartment where a young man named Hugo lives. Hugo apparently likes to watch Octavio as he sweats. After Hugo witnesses a dog that belongs to someone at the boxing gym get hit by a car, that draws him into the gym and closer to Octavio. Octavio certainly takes notice of Hugo.

Written and directed by Julio Jorquera Arriagada, it's clear that Octavio knows what he wants whereas Hugo is very wishy-washy. Despite the medical precautions, Octavio knows he's a boxer and that's want he wants to do. However, Hugo floats from job-to-job. He goes from working in a restaurant to working in a pet store.

Octavio knows he wants Hugo as his boyfriend. The way he grabs Hugo and practically takes possession of him is proof of Octavio's certainty. Hugo doesn't really grab back. He passively allows himself to be taken, which is fine. Where it becomes a problem is when Hugo also passively allows himself to be pulled into the orbit of a pet store co-worker named Jenny. His inability to draw a line with her proves his wishy-washy nature.

Because of that nature, it's difficult to gauge the performance of Héctor Morales (Tony Manero) who plays Hugo. There is an opportunity for us to gauge that performance, but Arriagada keeps him at a distance during a crucial moment. Arriagada literally keeps Morales far across the street from the camera with no audio, as Morales experiences the most desperate moment of his character.

Roberto Farías (The Good Life and No) who plays Octavio is incredible. His body is obviously at the forefront whether it's under his control when in the boxing ring or it's not under his control when he's having a seizure. Farías wields his body very well. However, this is few and far between. His true talent is in his face. The look on his face conveys such disappointment and heartbreak by the end that it's difficult to resist him, even when he pushes the boundaries of sympathy.

Four Stars out of Five.
Not Rated but for mature audiences.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 29 mins.


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