A father takes a trip to New York City to understand the life his son led in the new film ’Tu Me Manques’ (I Miss You).
Argentine Actor and Theatre Director Oscar Martínez is brilliant as the father – Jorge – a Bolivian businessman who appears to never have really known his only son, Gabriel.
In New York City, Jorge confronts Sebastian (Fernando Barbosa) – Gabriel’s boyfriend. While Jorge struggles to accept the life of his son, Sebastian channels his grief into a bold play honoring his lost love.
What makes this film so different and unique, besides that it is based on a true story, is that the Director and Writer Rodrigo Bellott, who adapted the story from his play of the same name, uses 30 actors to perform the role of Gabriel, a gimmick that is mimicked in the film’s flashback sequences, which rotate in different performers as Gabriel. It’s a gimmick that doesn’t quite work, but this does not lesson the powerful storyline and the amazing performances.
Sebastian and Jorge warm up to each after after a very bumpy introduction when Jorge arrived in New York City unannounced. Sebastian proceeds to tells the tender love story, in flashbacks, of how he initially met Gabriel, who initially said he was straight, and how they fell in love and moved in with each other. What ‘Tu Me Manques’ does not quite convince us is why Gabriel took his own life – by jumping off a building in Miami to visit his sister on his way back home to lead a life his parents wanted him to lead, and not the life he wanted for himself. Sebastian continues to blame Jorge for his sons death as it was Jorge, and his wife, who would not accept Gabriel’s sexuality. The film culminates in scenes from the play that pay honor to Gabriel’s memory. It packs an emotion wallop.
‘Tu Me Manques’ selected as the Bolivian entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards, but it was not nominate
Rodrigo Bellott’s Tu Me Manques, (I MIss You) Official Selection of Bolivia for the Oscars, releases in theaters and on DVD and Digital this Spring.
Review by Tim Baros