March 29, 2017
advice articles
Contracorriente (Undertow)

Contracorriente (Undertow)

Not only is this my favorite LGBT themed movie, this is probably in my top five, depending on what day you ask me. I forget how I found this movie but it’s been my favorite for YEARS and I would suggest it to absolutely anyone who doesn’t want to bawl their eyes out. It’s a foreign film so you’ll need subtitles unless you’re fluent in Spanish (I can actually understand it in some parts so it’s not that difficult to follow the dialect). Also, if you purchase/rent it be prepared for the region coding; it may be more difficult than necessary to watch, but it’s definitely worth the hassle.

What I adore most about this film is the incredibly unique storyline. It’s heavily grounded in the Hispanic culture; Catholicism is rampant and there are elements of magical realism. I’ve always had a soft spot for magical realism which is probably why I love Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Life of Pi, and even Harry Potter so much. To combine both magical realism and a tragic gay romance story… sign me up.

undertow2It’s such a good love story too and I’m a sucker for a good love story (especially if it’s gay), but it’s so funny comparing this to Weekend that I watched recently as well. The two movies couldn’t be farther apart in plot but both of them are so good with stories you can sink your teeth into. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good campy movie every once in a while but I think it’s important to have good gay cinema out there that even people who don’t identify as LGBT can enjoy – it can’t always be dick jokes and drag queens. Sometimes you need to deliver something everyone needs to see, and this is one of those films.

To paraphrase the plot, the film follows Mico, who is well respected in his Peruvian community who has a wife and a kid on the way. He also has a secret lover, Tiago, who’s wildly attractive and wanting to be upfront about the love they share. So far, I’m pretty sure some of us can identify with a similar storyline, but then something happens that Tiago and Mico would never expect to bring them closer and eventually tear them apart. I’ll let you find out yourself.

As always, I’m linking the Amazon profile here so you can read more reviews for yourself.

About Will

Will is a recent graduate from Florida State University and transplant to Los Angeles who makes the occasional video on YouTube documenting his life with his fiancé and German Shepherd.

18 comments

  1. Lourdes Peinado B.

    I love the site so far!
    I’m really excited to see this movie here as a peruvian follower and I really like the work of Tatiana Astengo.

    Talking about film and shortfilms, maybe you have already heard of this short film, “Eu Não Quero Voltar Sozinho.”
    I love the innocense of the story development.
    It’s available on the oficial youtube channel and it has subtitles too.

  2. I’ve seen this movie a 9 months ago and I ended up with deep sigh, an emptiness in heart after watching this movie. It’s a beautiful movie. A very heard of, similar story line but very different mood. I simply love this movie.
    BTW, this website is very productive and articles are interesting. 🙂

  3. If you don´t mind subtitles you should really watch the Swedish award-winning three-part drama “Don’t Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves”. Warning though, it will make you cry!

  4. Oh wow, ok.. I cried from beginning to end, what an amazing recommendation. Such a sad story though.

  5. There’s much to be said for being serious and tackling serious issues. It’s also heartening to see slightly older actors in this film. There remains a tendency for gay media to exclude the experiences of people over the age of 30, and even more so if you’re 40+

  6. Such a great film! Thanks will!

  7. Will have you watched Shelter already? It’s my favorite gay romance. Its really quite the gem, you should really check it out if you haven’t already.

  8. I own this movie. It’s in my top 5 favorite movies. I hate movies that make me cry, life does that enough on it’s own. However, I LOVE this movie. I wasn’t sure which one to feel sorry for the most. It’s heart wrenching but beautifully made. There is this particular part I found very difficult to watch but can’t say, I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone who hasn’t seen it. I highly recommend that people who haven’t seen this movie, watch it. Then be thankful for what you have. Great movie recommendation, Will.
    My recommendations for you are: “Latter Day Saints”, “From Beginning To End” *Brazilian*: “You Should Meet My Son” *very funny*: “Morgan” *so good*, and “Redwoods”. and “Save Me”. That’s all for now. You’ll have to let me know if you like them. None of them are campy, well maybe the third one but it’s really funny.

  9. Nicolás Pourtalé

    thanks for sharing will!!

  10. I watched this movie a couple of years ago, it’s amazingly beautiful, and I’m spanish so no problem for me! lol

  11. Miluca Rojas Sánchez

    When you mentioned this movie on your channel I cried cuz…. I FREAKING LOVE THIS MOVIE oh, and also cuz I’m PERUVIAN. The whole plot is beautiful and amazing and to make an LGBT themed movie in Peru is a big goal, cuz here it’s really different from the US or any other country. I’m just happy that you like this movie.

  12. hey Will… what do u think about SHELTER???… I mean is one of my favorites,,, but thanks for your review i’ll try it in my next night movie marathon !!

  13. It is such a pain trying to get my hands on good LGBT films (or ANY for that matter) here in Australia.

  14. thanks Will, i cried my eyes out

  15. Nice review. This film really expresses how peruvian society is, specially if you live outside the capital city (so religious, so conservative). Some people could say it is a typical peruvian film (same old topics: social class differences, unrequited love, suffering) but there is a big difference: Mico isn’t that impulsive (because most of peruvian films show impulsivity in their main characters), he takes his time to think about how things are going on (lot of stuff involved such as a personal struggle about sexual identity, dealing with tradition, etc.) Undertow caused a lot of controversy here.

  16. Wow! Just watched this movie (they have it on Hulu Plus) and it was so amazing, definitely a new favorite. Thanks so much for recommending it.

  17. this is available on Netflix Instant Watch again….

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