Reinier (Reinier Diaz) makes extra money as a rent boy to support his young family in the slums of Havana. After crossing paths with Yosvani (Milton Garcia) during a football match, Reinier forms a close friendship with him that soon turns into a sexual affair. With both men in relationships with women, and homophobia rife in Cuba, they try to keep their affair secret but nothing stays secret for too long.
The Last Match is on the surface a typical coming-of-age movie about being in the closest and forbidden love in an unforgiving environment. Underneath it all there’s a realistic look at two young men falling in love in a world where same-sex relationships aren’t accepted by society. Alongside the central storyline of Reinier and Yosvani’s growing attraction, the film takes a look at male prostitution as Reinier starts a relationship with Juan (Toni Canto). For Reinier, at least initially, his prostitution is simply a way of making money and he doesn’t identify as gay, or acknowledge that it could be a possibility.
The lives of Reinier and Yosvani are intertwined even more as it is revealed that Reinier works for Yosvani’s father and his inability to keep up the payments he owes the black-marketeer cause a source of conflict. That also forces Yosvani into the midst of everything having to choose whether to be loyal to his father-in-law to be or his secret boyfriend.
At the centre of The Last Match are strong performances by Reinier Diaz and Milton Garcia. The two young actors have fantastic chemistry together and you root for their love to succeed. Garcia in particular has the edge and gives a sensitive portrayal of a young man searching for happiness and trying to understand who he is.
The Last Match may not be the most original film in the gay cinema genre but it’s a worthwhile watch with plenty to admire. It serves as a timely reminder that we’re fortunate enough to live in a country where being gay is more accepted by society. There are lots of elements here that have been seen in other films and the subject of forbidden love is one often explored, particularly in gay cinema. That having being said The Last Match is a surprisingly touching film that we thoroughly enjoyed and heartily recommend.
Watch the trailer for The Last Match below: