From Beginning to End is a Brazilian movie that had the potential to be great and yet proved to be disappointing.
The story is about a homosexual relationship between two half brothers, Thomas and Francisco aged 22 and 27. That premise, unfortunately, is the only interesting thing about the entire movie.
Having created an interesting premise, the makers just decided they couldn’t be bothered to show how the real world works, opting for a fairy tale instead where everyone around them accepts homosexuality as well as incest without batting an eye.
There are indications of the boys growing unusually close even during their childhood, and their mother opts not to point out the rights or wrongs, instead simply telling them never to be ashamed. After her death, the father of the younger brother moves out of the house, giving the brothers the privacy and space required for taking their relationship to the physical level. And when an opportunity comes for Thomas to train abroad for the Olympics for three years and he asks his father for advice, he tells him that it is something the two brothers must decide together.
I was surprised that no one actually gives a damn about the incest, including Thomas and Francisco. I expected some soul searching, some conflict, both internal and external, and a lot of opposition. Instead I was rolling my eye for most of the time.
The actors have given such a convincing performance that you can feel the love that Thomas and Francisco shares. But one can’t help wonder at the same time if they would have developed such an obsessive love for each other had the adults around them tried to point them elsewhere when they were still children.
That said, the movie works as a love story. But the movie would have worked equally well as a love story had Thomas and Francisco not been brothers. Their being brothers adds no extra dimension to their relationship and frankly, once their childhood is over, there is no plot development.
Had the two ended up in a relationship in spite of opposition and in spite of their own guilt because they realized that the love they had was worth it, the movie might have been a more satisfying watch. As it was, the movie was extremely boring.
I wouldn’t call it a must-watch, but if you like fairytale-like love stories with happy endings, this one’s for you.
Personally, I like some dose of reality even in movies. And there was none in this.