85 Min | Drama – Romance | October 2008
IMDB Rating: 6.1
Director: Eliseo Subiela
Starring: Antonella Costa, Leandro Stivelman, Hugo Arana
Don’t Look Down Review: Eliseo Subiela has that rare quality of seeing magic in reality, of portraying it in his movies with freshness and philosophical depth. His characters, despite being normal, are in a special kind of reality, and their interaction with our world is always eccentric and quirky. Subiela is true to himself in the premise of the movie, as it departs from a quote from a poem by Andre Breton that intrinsically links live, love and death and considers physical love as a redemptive element in life. Don’t Look Down revolves about the sexual awakening of Eloy, a sweet and absent-minded teenager, apprentice of electrician and courier boy to the nearby cemetery, who starts sleepwalking after the death of his father and ends in the arms of a sassy and older neighbor, Elvira, who will teach him how to satisfy a woman and himself.
If you want to make a movie about tantric sex and sexual initiation you need two basic elements. Firstly, a couple of sensual actors who have chemistry on camera and are able to transmit eroticism to the spectator, so that we can believe that they are having sex and enjoying it. Secondly, to create the right atmosphere and mood so the sex scenes look natural and passionate. All of that was missing from Don’t Look Down, despite sex being the main subject of the movie. The scenes look unnatural, forced, like a rehearsal. They are shot with constriction, without passion and with some visual bigotry, despite the intention of the movie being quite the opposite. It felt like those modern Kamasutra books with photos of nude couples posing in the different sexual positions – boring and not erotic. It would have been better, perhaps, showing less, and leaving more to the imagination, which always gives great results.
The most memorable moments of the movie Don’t Look Down are, however, those few in which the movie distracts itself from sex and portrays reality in Eloy’s eyes and part of the family’s story. The happy eeriness of Eloy’s trips to the cemetery on his bike to deliver tablets are wonderfully photographed and shot, the natural interaction between the deceased and those alive are those more closely connected to Breton’s initial poem and Subiela’s style. Here we see the always charming Subiela in action, focusing on what he does best. On the other hand, Subiela does not have the sensuality or acting maturity necessaries to affront a role like this. The rest of the actors are OK in their respective roles.