Films

Contracorriente (Undertow) (2009)

★★★✮☆

Director: Javier Fuentes-León
Stars: Cristian Mercado, Tatiana Astengo, Manolo Cardona

Contracorriente is a Peruvian drama film directed by Javier Fuentes-León and stars Cristian Mercado (Miguel), Tatiana Astengo (Mariela) and Manolo Cardona (Santiago).

Miguel is a fisherman in their village with specific traditions regarding death. He is married to Mariela (Tatiana Astengo), who is pregnant with their first child, but he also has a secret affair with another man, Santiago (Manolo Cardona). Santiago accidentally drowns at sea, and his ghost returns to ask Miguel to find his body, in order to bury it with their village’s rituals. Miguel is forced to deal with the consequences of their actions and accept who he really is, even at the risk of losing the people that he loves.

The setting is a small fishing village where most people are Roman Catholics and are machinists. Miguel was caught this bad bad situation. He is married and will be having a child while keeping his affair with another man. It’s amazing how all these conflicts exist in a single plot, and perfectly blended to make the story moving.

Miguel tried to keep both of his relationships but there comes this time when the balance would be disturbed. Gossips regarding his sexuality spread like fire in the village and once a respected man, he was instantly avoided by her neighbors and friends upon learning about his relationship with another man. He gained their trust once again and his wife forgave her. But he had to keep his promise to bury Santiago’s remains in their traditional way. He proved he was a real man when he had to come out to the public to bury Santiago amidst the shame he would receive from the village people and even if his wife decided to leave.

Love in the main theme of the ghost story. It is very moving. The plot is simple and realistic. The actors are all good.

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