Can an older man find love with a young male prostitute? That’s the question at the heart of Aya Arcos and to be honest it’s one that you know has a pretty easy answer. Successful writer Edu (Cesar Augusto) falls for prostitute Fabio (Daniel Passi) and begins to worry that the unsafe they’re having (and indeed the unsafe sex Fabio is having with many men) is leaving them open to contracting HIV. Add to that fear a friend of Fabio’s that’s trying to get in the middle of their relationship and things are looking pretty bleak for the couple.
Aya Arcos is the directorial debut of Maximilian Moll, who also wrote the movie, and unfortunately his inexperience shows throughout the film. The biggest problem with the film is that the plot leads itself to inevitability so there aren’t really anything in the way of surprises along the way. You don’t really feel much sympathy for Edu as he’s deluding himself into believing a young prostitute would want to settle down with him so they can be a proper couple. On top of that there’s the complete nonsensical decision to continue having unprotected sex after a scene where Fabio treats the issue of HIV very flippantly.
Without me revealing anything further about the film I would wager that you’d be able to guess how the rest of the plot unravels. I kept expecting something to happen or a twist to surprise me but alas it didn’t come. Instead the film ended in the way I guessed it would just minutes in. Aya Arcos takes a very thin premise and drags it out; had it been a short it may have worked a lot better.
Daniel Passi manages to make somewhat of an impression as the carefree Fabio. He isn’t phased by his line of work, the dangers it may bring or what anyone thinks about him. Passi channels a lot of energy into his performance and it may be the only reason I got all the way to the credits.
Aya Arcos may think it’s highlighting something profound or deep but it really isn’t. Unfortunately the film is an exercise of how you can’t avoid the inevitable and after realising that in the first 5 minutes I wish I’d had the same realisation. Aya Arcos is a surface look at serious issues and it never delves deep enough into its subject matter to offer anything new.
Watch the trailer for Aya Arcos below:
Cast: Daniel Passi, Alex Mello, Flávia Gusmão, André Vieira, César Augusto Director: Maximilian Moll Writer: Maximilian Moll Released By: TLA Releasing Certificate: 15 Duration: 83 mins Release Date: 25th January 2016