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From Afar (2015)

Desde allá (original title)
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Armando, a 50 year man, seeks young men in Caracas and pays them just for company. One day he meets Elder, a 17 years boy that is the leader of a criminal gang, and that meeting changes their lives forever.

Director:

Lorenzo Vigas

Writers:

Lorenzo Vigas (screenplay), Guillermo Arriaga (based on a story by) | 1 more credit »
10 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alfredo Castro ... Armando
Luis Silva ... Elder
Jericó Montilla Jericó Montilla ... Amelia
Catherina Cardozo Catherina Cardozo ... Maria
Jorge Luis Bosque Jorge Luis Bosque ... Fernando
Greymer Acosta Greymer Acosta ... Palma
Auffer Camacho Auffer Camacho ... Mermelada
Ivan Peña Ivan Peña ... Yoni
Joretsis Ibarra Joretsis Ibarra ... Deysi
Yeimar Peralta Yeimar Peralta ... Yerlin
Scarlett Jaimes Scarlett Jaimes ... Yuli
Ernesto Campos Ernesto Campos ... Kleiber
Marcos Moreno Marcos Moreno ... Manuel
Armando Volcanes Armando Volcanes ... Padrino quinceañera
Jesús Las Rosas Jesús Las Rosas ... Roca
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Storyline

Armando, a middle-aged owner of a Caracas dental prosthesis business, is estranged from his father, who he observes occasionally from a distance. He finds a young man of the streets who negotiates a fee high enough for the boy to be used to provide Armando's masturbatory object. Although a following encounter ends in a beating for Armando, he continues to make the boy dependent. What is the final result that Armando desires? Is it something more than a conflicted relationship with a hustler? Written by tgkohn

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Venezuela | Mexico

Language:

Spanish

Release Date:

2 September 2016 (Venezuela) See more »

Also Known As:

From Afar See more »

Filming Locations:

Caracas, Venezuela See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,136, 12 June 2016

Gross USA:

$30,108
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Official submission of Venezuela for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 89th Academy Awards in 2017. See more »

Soundtracks

Kuss-Walzer op. 400
by Johann Strauss
(1881).
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User Reviews

 
Miserable masochist revenge fantasy
27 March 2018 | by hellocrocodileSee all my reviews

An old-guy-meets-young-guy love story, er, hate story, perhaps. In their first encounter, Armando, the old one, promises money to Elder, the young one, in exchange for removing his clothes while he masturbates. Elder is a supposedly-straight homophobe who wails the older, gay man in the face, leaving him passed out on the floor while he steals his wallet. That's their first "date". Then they keep coming back to each other for more.

On the positive side, the acting is not half bad, especially from the young lead. He completely filled his character's shoes, right down to the body language. It didn't feel like he was acting at all. When he was supposed to be an asshole, he was a total asshole and then some. No matter how absurd the idea of his chemistry with Armando, his portrayal of unbridled passion was still shockingly convincing. The role of Armando does not require nearly as much acting by comparison. He mainly makes the same hollow face for the entire film, indicating that he just feels terrible all the time. There is nuance to both of the main characters which makes you simultaneously hate, pity, and maybe even root for them, capturing quite honestly at times the complexity of human nature and self-inflicted suffering.

All the while the characters are exploiting one another, there is never a single moment or conversation that indicates a genuine mutual interest or respect has developed between them. Suddenly, romance appears to blossom out of a couple of drinks, which I found highly unbelievable given the characters' demeanors. Armando doesn't smile even when, against all odds, he gets what he's been dreaming of. Their mere togetherness suggests perpetual self-loathing on behalf of both characters, as they ultimately can't seem to resist hurting each other.

An interesting change develops in one of the characters towards the latter part of the film, but then the story ends abrubtly and disappointingly. The lack of music in the end credits and the muted color palette perfectly exemplify the sense of emptiness one gets from the film in general.

I was hoping for and somewhat expecting a different outcome. The story's arc does not seem based in reality. The characters, Elder in particular, frequently seem guided by an unseen hand that makes them do things real people probably wouldn't do. The overall product manifests like an intoxicated, angry, revenge fantasy in which a homophobic man gets his comeuppance, but not before first being objectified and salivated over like he's a piece of meat. If you're not already bitter, you might want to avoid watching this cold-hearted film.


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