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From Beginning to End [DVD]

3.9 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Gabriel Kaufmann, Rafael Cardoso, Lucas Cotrin, João Gabriel Vasconcellos, Júlia Lemmertz
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Portuguese
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: TLA Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: 28 Mar. 2011
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004BEOPHK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,769 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

One of the most controversial gay-themed films since Cruising, this Brazilian romantic drama centers on the intimate bond between two men made problematic with them being brothers. As children, Francisco and his younger half-brother Thomás, were best friends and unusually close to each other- so much so that their intimacy brings vocal concerns from relatives that maybe they are too close. But the parents reluctantly brush away the gossip. Fast-forward several years with the now strikingly handsome, bronzed young men taking their childhood intensity into a torrid sexual relationship. But can their love survive society s discerning gaze? Spectacularly shot amidst the mountains, beaches and grand estates of Brazil, this sweeping erotic drama does not just live on the controversial subject matter but rather is a strikingly evocative romance of two men fighting against societal conventions.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I will start my review with the only negative comment that I have about this film: and that is that it fails to deal with any outside pressures or inevitable consequences of conflicts created by the boys' sexuality. There is a single scene dealing with the outcome of a fight that left Francisco with a broken leg...which in itself did not seem to raise any concern beyond the treatment. Are we to assume that this was a case of bullying gone wrong? Beyond asserting that the injury was the result of a fight, nothing more was spoken or done about it.
The first half of the film shows a modern family where the adults, each in their own time, discover that the boys' relationship is resembling something other than a "normal" brother-brother banter. I think it is particularly well acted in each case where the audience can actually read the minds of the characters simply by observing their facial expressions and body language. The actors are so atuned to their roles that the writers were able to save themselves reams of dialogue simply by having the characters summon responses to their thoughts. Honestly, these are performances worthy of the Actors' Studio. The film might have been much longer and with additional drama within the timeline of the large gaps in time which occur in the middle of the film. It occurs to me that something must have happened to alert the boys to the unusual nature of their relationship. In the after-glow bed scene Tom-Tom says: "...to understand our love they would have to turn the world upside down...", indicating that they are aware of the danger of exposure.
But the real body of the film is in the emotional journey of the boys. The depth of their emotion and the delicate nature of their dependance on one another.
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Do Começo ao Fim (English: From Beginning To End) was always going to be a victim of its own hype. The consensus seems to be largely negative, thanks to the perceived lack of insight into the taboo that gets everyone - one way or another - hot under the collar: incest.

Aluizio Abranches' film is a study of two brothers growing up in a comfortably well-off family in Brazil; the mother, a doctor and the father, an artist. We witness the boys - Francisco and Thomás - growing up, from Thomás' birth through until the boys' twenties.

It's slow and meandering, progressively building a picture of an unusually intense bond between the brothers, against a backdrop of some very handsome cinematography, and an impressive musical score. It's subtle, and understated, but a journey nonetheless, and one punctuated with sudden, startling visceral thrills (yes, there is sex and nudity).

"To understand our love," Francisco, the older brother, says at one point, "they'd have to turn the world upside down."

Hugely profound, his words instantly, and almost certainly, renders the entire audience as a pitchfork-wielding mob, à la Frankenstein. It forces those of us who are fuming, sniggering, or otherwise judging to pause and reflect, and begs the question, "Could any of us possibly understand?"

The picture perfect Cosby Show set-up works equally well for the film as it does against it - we, the audience, constantly anticipate the dark forces of an unforgiving outside world tearing their world apart. Much of the film's audience will similarly be wishing for a moral denouement that sets the boys "straight".
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Format: DVD
DO COMEÇO AO FIM ('From Beginning to End'), narrated in voice-over by Thomás, the younger of two brothers, is an engaging portrayal of the lifelong powerful bond between himself and his older brother, Francisco. (Although nowhere acknowledged, it is difficult not to think that this film was inspired by Augustin Gomez-Arcos's sublime novel, Carnivorous Lamb.)

The first third of DO COMEÇO AO FIM focuses on the tenderness of the brothers' early lives, when Francisco is 12-years-old and Thomás 6. The two are actually half-brothers; they live with their mother in Brazil, but Francisco's father lives in Argentina. Despite this marital restructuring, the mother and father remain on good terms, and the portrait is one of a deeply loving and affectionate family. Nowhere is this more evident than between the brothers...

Francisco adores and protects the younger Thomás, while the latter idolises the former. Their mother senses the intimacy that already exists between them, which perhaps accounts for her wistful (yet accepting) sadness towards a love from which she will forever be excluded. Francisco's father in Argentina, too, suspects that their relationship is "too intimate"; in response to his suggestion that they talk to the boys, their mother responds: "I don't know exactly what they are doing... But we cannot tell them it is a bad thing." Refreshing, indeed.

The film jumps ahead fifteen years; both their mother and Francisco's father have died, and the brothers, now in their 20s, continue to live together - their love, affection and physicality undiminished.
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