Do Começo ao Fim (2009) Poster

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The most beautiful and romantic film I have ever seen.
nickapopolis8720 June 2011
I got this movie out on DVD without knowing too much about it and I was absolutely blown away. It is such a touching and romantic movie. I know it has taboo topics but they are handled so gently and with such acceptance by the film makers and the the characters within the story. It truly moved me in a way a film has never done for me before. It is probably not for everyone due to some of it's taboo content, but honestly, it should be viewed regardless. It is such an exquisite portrayal and will really make you think. I cannot praise this movie more highly. Forget the mind-numbing exploitative offerings of The Hangover or Bridesmaids, and see what great film can accomplish.
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NICE one!
nimrod_ger31 August 2010
I'm not going to lengthy review this Film, there's just no need to. Let me just tell you what I thought of it. First of all, it was supposed to show you a romantic LOVE STORY, not a big drama, not science fiction, not a documentary... just a plain love story. Not a 'normal' love story though, not even in gay terms. It deals with two issues at once: Gay love and incest. But in a very gentle way, that's for sure. Seeing the boys grow up, being so fond of each other surely was nice to watch! As the boys grow older and become men, they also sexualize their relationship, which came (I have to admit that) a) too late, and b) too suddenly. One would think that adolescent boys start 'playing' a little earlier than these two did. Anyway, that was the only thing that really startled me for a moment. Other than that the film was a great watch, which surely had to do with the sheer beauty of the two main actors, especially Joao Gabriel Vasconcellos, who played the older adult brother 'Francisco'. The chemistry between the two guys is wonderful, and you want these two men to love each other forever.

I can highly recommend this film. If you want action, blood, drama, sex, drugs & Rock'n'Roll - then stay away from it. Otherwise... DO TRY!
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A sweet, innocent, beautiful but flawed love story
jm1070112 October 2011
I don't understand why mutually consenting sex between brothers near the same age is a big deal. It's not as if they would produce deformed offspring. That particular taboo makes no sense to me. I'm not advocating gay incest, but horror at the idea of sex between brothers – even in a movie, and even among gay men – mystifies me. I've never been at all attracted to my own brother, but two brothers' falling in love in a movie does not make me the least bit uncomfortable. I don't feel compelled to try to twist it into something else that's more acceptable.

People who say it's easy to forget that Francisco and Thomás are brothers in the latter half of the movie must be TRYING to forget it, because the movie never stops affirming the fact that that's what they are. Fighting that battle while trying to enjoy a movie must detract a lot from the enjoyment.

This is a flawed but interesting and unusual movie, and I can understand why even the many positive reviews it gets have trouble describing it. It has been called a fairy tale because Francisco and Thomás seem to live in a dream world as cut off from the real world as Sleeping Beauty in her castle. But aren't all young lovers like that? Isn't that what love and hormones do to young people? Doesn't the rest of the world tend to fall away when the beloved comes into view? That's how it was when I was young.

So to say that this is a fairly tale is simply to say that it is a love story. It's an unusual love story, but fundamentally it is just like any other romance movie. If anything, its depiction of the all-consuming ecstasy of young love is MORE realistic than most movies are, not less.

Others have emphasized the parents' evident oblivion or even acquiescence to what is going on under their noses, but that seems to me like just another symptom of the irrational taboo I mentioned earlier. It's like: "What those boys are doing is WRONG! Why don't their parents stop it?" But, again, I ask: Why? Who is hurting whom? Nobody that I can see.

When they're children, they simply love each other and love to be together, and they are freely affectionate with each other. Is that bad? Why? Should the mother slap her son when he kisses his younger brother on the head or puts his arm around him or holds him while they sleep? Why? Is fighting better? Is sibling rivalry better than sibling affection? Evidently it is to many people.

Neither of those is what I see as a weakness in this movie. It's true that the movie is unreal, but what seems most unreal to me is not the brothers' relationship with each other or with their parents. That's just an extraordinarily loving and mutually accepting family, which is almost never seen in a movie or in real life but should be everybody's ideal of what a family ought to be. If that's not the unconditional love people rave about nowadays, I don't know what is.

What seems most unreal to me is the other adults' relationships with each other, the fantastically loving relationships between exes and in-laws and friends who are NOT in love with each other, who are NOT caught up in the heady ecstasy of hormones and young love. That excess of affection is just plain weird.

Another weakness I see is in the dialog. The core story about the brothers is fine – it's a love story – but what people say to each other is stilted and awkward, not at all the way real people talk. It's like the way people talk in TV commercials. And the problem is not just in the English subtitles, which actually are very good: what they're saying in Portuguese sounds just as phony.

And the final weakness I see is in the direction. The director seems to be trying to make something besides JUST a love story, but what that other something is never comes clear. It feels as if he is intentionally trying to make it an allegory, or an epic myth, or a ballet, or something else abstract that wrestles constantly with the extremely simple love story which the movie actually is.

The scene in which the adult brothers slowly undress for the first time as they face each other across the room is particularly strange, like something out of a kabuki performance. That obscure tension between what the movie is and what the director is trying to make it be doesn't ruin the movie, but it IS distracting.

All four actors who play the two brothers as children and then as adults are very good and very beautiful, inside and out. What the director did an EXCELLENT job of is getting straight actors (which I assume they all are) to be so convincingly loving toward each other. Every affectionate gesture, every touch, every loving look is totally convincing. That could NEVER happen in an American or Canadian movie, or even in a European movie, and I've never seen it in any other movie from Latin America. It is a unique and astonishing accomplishment.

The director also gets credit for the movie's other great accomplishment, which is simply that it got made. A movie about love, passion, unshakable devotion, loyalty, innocence, tenderness and limitless generosity between two men is rarer than hens' teeth. The scene in which they exchange wedding rings alone together at home is one of the sweetest, sexiest scenes I have ever seen. I have never seen any other movie that even comes close to the love between these two men, and I have seen hundreds and hundreds of gay movies. This is far from the best of them, but it is the most wonderful.
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Brave and Beautiful
Victor Alvarez22 July 2010
The filmmaker starts off with an intriguing premise. How much would love flourish if we lived in a world uncomplicated by belief systems that thrive on shame and conformity? In my eyes, the filmmaker is a dreamer. Not a realist. And it was refreshing and fascinating to watch as the story unfolded. It was profound.

The story begins with a boy at the age of six who is escorted by a nurse to see his newborn brother. Immediately, the filmmaker is setting up the rules of his idyllic world. And the rules are consistent throughout. The father is nowhere to be seen. In fact, there are no adults other than an impartial nurse who leads the boy to the person who will ultimately be the love of his life.

The six year-old brother looks into his baby brother's eyes through the viewing window and a profound connection is formed. The filmmaker makes his first point. Could this mysterious thing we call love start even before birth? In most of the best love films that I've seen, and I've seen plenty, when two lovebirds meet the love of their life they have that experience of, haven't we met before? Or, I feel like I've known you all my life.

I won't go into the whole story but I was fascinated by the filmmaker's decision to leave as much conflict out of the picture as possible. He showed us hints of potential conflicts but wisely didn't emphasize them. It was a brave choice. Abranches' vision would prefer to keep the boy's perpetually in the womb of their mother. Which is another important theme throughout the story.

Abranches give us a vision of his Garden of Eden before the fall and the Great Conflict. Before Adam hid himself in the bushes when God walked the grounds and he asked Adam, why are you hiding? I'm naked. And God became angry, who told you thou wast naked? What kind of world would that be like? I can only imagine but I caught a glimpse of it up there on the big silver screen. I highly recommend From Beginning to End.
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Lacks any sort of tension, but aces in dealing with a difficult subject
sverigelagom29 November 2009
The movie tackles with straight-forward candidness the biggest taboo of western societies: the incest. To top it all off, the relationship happens between two brothers. The movie struck me as extremely poetic, with great cinematography and a LOT of chemistry between the main actors. The love scenes will make you gasp with their intensity and sense of poetry, but the film lacks any real reason d'être.

The main subject in hand, with all of it's richness and subtleties, gets pushed to the side, while some other less interesting plot takes on from half the movie onwards.

I did enjoy the film quite a bit, especially for the ease with which it talks about a very taboo subject.

Oh, and I must mention the main actors are, naturally, extremely hot.
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Love Thy Brother
randy-37723 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Directed by Aluízio Abranches, "From Beginning to End" revolves around the relationship between two young half brothers whose intense childhood bond eventually leads to a sexual relationship. Told as a fairy tale romance, FBTE skirts the issue of incest by simply showing parents with concerned frowns and while an overwrought musical score plays not so much in the background.

While the topic of incest is complicated, this film is not. The director has chosen to tell the story from an unrealistic point of view that denies reality: first from parents who express little concern, to an insulated world that apparently has no schools or friends. The boys who are quite innocent express their bond in an endless display of affection and mutual protection. Their journey into adulthood is oddly told by a series of deaths in the family culminating in an erotic undressing after they are finally alone together to consume their longing. Tensions arise when the younger brother is invited to train for the Olympics in Russia for three years. The last part of the film deals with their separation (for the first time) and how each deals with the absence. In this fairy tale world, there is always a happy ending.

The adult brothers (played by athletic and model-beautiful Joao Gabriel Vasconcello and Rafael Cardoso are so ridiculously attractive that it is easy to dismiss or even remember that they are related. Director Abranches never detours from his fairy tale, letting the easy sexiness and apparent attraction of the characters make it all seem downright reasonable. This is a world where not an eyebrow is raised, as the two, seemingly oblivious to any concern for the outside world, are always physical. In only one scene, they ask a swimming trainer if their constant petting bothers him— the answer is of course not. The mother, beautifully played by Júlia Lemmertz, is aware that the affections the boy have for one another seem to be suspicious but in the fairy tale world of brotherly love, mothers and fathers never comment. In, fact the mother makes a ghostly return to join the boys for a swim of the coast of Rio.

Watching FBTE, the idea of incest was almost put on the back burner because of the lack of tension and the nearly soft porn charisma of the leads. That this film is about two half brothers that are in love gets lost in the foggy haze of steamy sex and presumption on the part of the director that we can be pulled in by attractive men and a loud musical score. It could be the story of two boys growing up together, but in this instance, they are related. It is of note that on the same evening, on the Sundance channel, a film called Savage Grace, a 2007 film by Swoon director Tom Kalin, would be aired. On the completely other end of the moral spectrum, Savage Grace is difficult, painful and almost nauseating as mother and young son have intercourse. But the two films are reminders of just how complicated the subject of incest is…they are not all alike. FBTE doesn't judge the subject so much as punctuate it with beautiful examples, making it a fairy tale, a poem, a love story, easy to watch, frankly erotic, but empty. The ultimate question to be asked is, it it a good film? Does it entertain, inform and enlighten? Yes, if only because we are in new territory and the characters are so free from a any burden, living in a world that can only be dreamed of.
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An original, daring and very moving outstanding film - highly recommended
sinnerofcinema10 July 2010
Even though the subject matter may repel some, as the film begins it immediately immerses the viewer into the family life of brothers Thomas and Francisco. The film is fearless and daring in many ways as its touches on some very taboo subject matters. It slowly creeps up to you, but once this drama sees the boys as grown men, it takes a very nostalgic mood. There is a very haunting aspect to this film that will leave you lulled and wanting more. There is also a certain amount of sadness eminent from the fantastic performances from Rafael Cardoso and João Gabriel Vasconcellos. Both these men light up the screen, and their chemistry was incendiary with a very fierce dynamic relationship that takes twists and turns in many directions but ultimately leaves you yearning for what was once between them. The film is pretty much about life changes and how some of the best times are hard to let go as mere memories. Both brothers, in their own way, must deal with life's changes and its unexpectedness. Very poetic and always eloquent in its storytelling, dealing with such difficult subject matter was flawlessly handled sensitively in the very capable hands of Aluisio Abranches. Brazil should be proud to have this film. It represents very well the beautiful people of Brazil, their culture and it give you great insight of a culture that is filled with traditions as well as strong family and community ties.

As the movie beautifully unfolds, we explore and observe a relationships and how difficult it can be to let go of the tie that binds.
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May contain very very little spoilers
zaisim9014 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I agree with the rest of the reviewers that DO COMECO AO FIM could have ended differently, but after watching the movie and going through my own share of disappointment, i could not stop thinking about it and realized that the point of the movie was not the story of the two brothers but more about family, existence, acceptance and the true meaning of free will. And that's when I watched the movie again and suddenly all sorts of nuances started to pop up. there is a good reason why the first 50 minutes were spent on the two brothers childhood, the connection with their exceptionally accepting mother, etc... what followed after that was just the outcome of such a beautiful childhood shaping those two beings into beautiful beings - both on the inside and the outside too, ;). so this movie is not about two brothers who fall in love and have sex, it's about parenting, unconditional, unbounded love, brotherhood, passion, living life to the fullest and doing what we truly believe in. it is about believing in oneself and going for what they know is right for them - because choosing to do otherwise will push them far from happiness and the truths of life.

the camera work is exceptional in the way it creates such a real yet dramatized feeling. the music is unbelievably haunting - 90 minutes passed by like 10 minutes, and so naturally it does leave you with a feeling that it was too short or incomplete, but it is not. creating a conflict in such a story would have been so cliché. probably if the brothers were separated or condemned by society the viewers would have had a better time; but it would have been totally besides the point, this is a simple story of how to accept one another as human beings, regardless of who we are and how we are expected to be. no wonder the director dedicated it to his parents. it's not a fantasy, it is a beautiful portrayal of a beautiful emotion.
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Wanna know what real love is about?
tchavesmello10 November 2010
Imma kinda out of words to write right now, but anyway the intense heat of the feeling I've just had since the end of movie, which is about ten minutes now, just wants to emerge the word LOVE itself.

You won't find any other explanation for such a heart-devastating flick like this rather than your own personal feelings regarding to your own private desires. If you're into gay interest movies, don't you please, lose the chance of watching it. It is remarkably poetic and stunning. Your heart shall write the final lines for it. You'll get what I mean, once you've reached that point.

LOVE itself is represented in every little second of this movie.
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watch it for Erotic & Intimate chemistry between João Gabriel Vasconcellos and Rafael Cardoso along with Stunning Cinematography. Live a Dream!
Saad Khan23 December 2010
Do Começo ao Fim - FROM BEGINNING TO END – CATCH IT ( B+ ) Brazilian movie "Do Começo ao Fim" is a visual treat along with moving performances by João Gabriel Vasconcellos and Rafael Cardoso. This movie talks about the taboo topic of half brothers falling in Incestuous relationship & Love. Though the movie deals with sensitive and hardcore subject matter but the movie not for a second seems like anything different than a Love Story. I loved what one of the reviewer mentioned on IMDb that this movie reflects the Dream World where the Incestuous Love between Half brothers is nothing more than merely LOVE. The movie starts off with Francisco & Thomás, when they are young kids. From there the whole beauty of caring for each other was represented in a very decent way plus how the mother & Francisco's father started to feel that they are more closer than they are suppose too. I loved the way movie was progressing but then suddenly the death of Pedro (Francisco's father) & 10 years later the death of their Mother changed the movie into another direction. The movie didn't show how the boys dealt with these feeling as teenagers, because I believe that's the toughest part or Maybe as I have mentioned before the director was living in Dream World. so, from there we were left with Intimate Love of Francisco & Thomás. The Love scene between João Gabriel Vasconcellos and Rafael Cardoso was pasteurized exquisitely & the dialogues were splendidly powerful. After that movie went off to Love & Long Distance relationship between Francisco & Thomás, which was heartfelt to watch because of outstanding chemistry between João Gabriel Vasconcellos and Rafael Cardoso. João Gabriel Vasconcellos and Rafael Cardoso are exceptionally gorgeous and their chemistry and performance was very natural & touchy. There was not a second when I felt like they were merely two actors playing falling in Love because the way they behave around each other & looked at each other, it was all LOVE. Lucas Cotrin as young Francisco & Gabriel Kaufmann as young Thomás were treat to watch. They were funny, caring & shared an awesome chemistry. Júlia Lemmertz looked elegant & exquisite, if I was the director I would have loved to see the whole family dealing with this issue but somehow Director lived the Dream Charming World. Fábio Assunção Jean Pierre Noher and Louise Cardoso were good in their parts. Overall, watch it for Erotic & Intimate chemistry between João Gabriel Vasconcellos and Rafael Cardoso along with Stunning Cinematography.
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