“Contadora is for Lovers”
Under the Island Sun
A newly engaged couple go to island of Contadora on vacation and from the moment that they meet their sexy Latin host who happens to be gay, we can see that “Contadora is for Lovers” (Culture Q Connection) is going to be an adventure. New feelings arise as the Latin accompanies the couple on their adventure. Beautiful cinematography makes this a visually beautiful film and what is lacking in plot is made up for by the beautiful scenery. The idea of a love triangle is certainly not a new one but here the cast is great and overall we get a very satisfying movie.
The move is exotic and the Latin feel to it is pervasive. As Sago/Santiago (Vincent DePaul) comes to grips with the struggle of feelings that he shares with his fiancée (Renee Pietrangelo) and his Panamanian host (Tony Sago), we get a man who is emotionally conflicted and distraught. His reaction to his condition reflects the inner truth he feels and his acting came across so naturally that it was if I were watching a man face his feelings as I looked at him. Raw behavior flashes across the screen throughout the movie. In fact, all three actors existed in the moment that they experienced their journey. And we, in turn, feel for the actors.
In addition to being good movie, it is a wonderful travelogue for Contadora—a place I had never heard of—a beautiful island off of the coast of Panama. The simple story is simply fun and beautiful to watch and Gabriel (the host) is the object of empathy. His plight of not only being single and the fact that he can’t seem to find anyone make him perfect for the object of our feelings. It seems he has had a past of becoming involved with those who are not available to him. He ignores good judgment and common sense and ends up in situations that he himself has caused. And watching Gabriel makes each of us realize that we are creatures of habit.
I have read reviews that compare this to a home movie. I wonder how anyone could possibly ignore the wonderful cast and photography. Sure, the plot is simple but it is also simply a beautiful love story. Sure there is not a lot of dialog and not a lot happens but it is presented so beautifully that I could not help but be moved by it. A great movie it is not, a satisfying one it is.