Last weekend, PJ and I watched Broken Sky, writer-director Julián Hernández‘s sophomore effort. Here’s the trailer:

Broken Sky is about two college students, Gerardo and Jonás, played by Miguel Ángel Hoppe and Fernando Arroyo, respectively, who meet on campus and begin a relationship. Trouble arises, however, while the two are in a dance club and Jonás becomes attracted to another guy. As he pulls away from Gerardo, Gerardo tries to restore their erotic connection but ultimately gives up and looks for love with Sergio, played by the very sexy Alejandro Rojo, who has clearly been interested in Gerardo for some time. Seeing his former boyfriend in the arms of another, Jonás realizes his mistake (or is simply jealous) and tries to win Gerardo back. Will the two reconcile or will Gerardo stay with Sergio?

Broken Sky begins as a kind of erotic exploration of the two main characters’ love making. We see several scenes of the two men making love, both physically and emotionally. When they’re not in bed, they’re making out or playing hide and seek in the university library. Stuff like that.

It sounds good, and I can definitely respect this film as an experiment, but in reality this is one of the longest, most boring gay movies I’ve ever seen. At 2 hours and 20 minutes, it’s about an hour too long. Its length is made even more tedious by the fact that there is almost no dialogue. Clearly, Hernández is experimenting with dialogue (or the lack thereof), camera angles, lighting, and pacing. Like I said, I can respect the experiment, but someone really should have reigned him in a bit.

The film can be divided into three parts: early love, the breaking up, and the rebound. The first part’s eroticism actually gets old fairly quickly, which is kind of surprising. The second part is even more tedious, because it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to drag out the process of breaking up when the two characters never speak to each other. We’re constantly wanting a confrontation scene in which Gerardo simply yells at his boyfriend and gives him an ultimatum. We never get it. The third section is the easiest to take, in part because something is finally happening and we finally get a little dialogue.

Sergio and GerardoOn the whole, I didn’t like this film, but I did love one scene: after a lot of scenes of not having sex with his boyfriend, Gerardo finally decides to go out to a bar, which seems to have some private back rooms, on his own. The bar is on the second floor, which overlooks the stairs. As Gerardo climbs the stairs, we see Sergio, who has been following him and pining after him for several scenes, looking down at him. But instead of immediately approaching Gerardo, Sergio backs away from his view, remaining hidden. As Gerardo walks around the bar seemingly looking for him, Sergio lets him find him and the two suddenly stand face to face. Again, Sergio backs away, this time into a room. Gerardo follows. As the camera follows Gerardo, we see him turn and prop himself against a wall. We then learn that Sergio has sat down and that Gerardo is standing in from of him. Sergio stands and the two embrace. The scene is set to “The Song to the Moon” from Dvorak’s Rusalka. It is an amazing scene, well choreographed, romantic, sexy, and tentative.

I would almost say that Broken Sky is worth watching just for this scene. Almost. If only it were about an hour shorter, I think this would have been a much better experiment. As is, it’s one really great scene weighted down by about 2 hours and 10 minutes of monotony. I do like the way the movie ends, so that’s also a plus.

On a minor note, the subtitles were really difficult to read: white titles against an often white or pale background.