Review: 'To the Sea' an Understated, Emotional Gem

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Monday October 18, 2021

'To the Sea'
'To the Sea'  (Source:OUTShine)

Director Marco Antonio Núñez follows Lorena (Ana Burgos) and Diego (Francisco Dañobeitía), a young Chilean couple, as they move to a seaside village. Ana busies herself with a job as a waitress and with her artistic ambitions, while Diego starts working at the library, where he and Vicente (Marcelo Gutiérrez) strike up a friendship... and quickly discover an undeniable spark of attraction.

As Diego and Vicente slowly sort through their feelings, and edge ever closer to a sexual relationship, Lorena feels Diego's focus on her is no longer quite the same as it used to be; at the same time, she finds herself also smitten with Vicente. Things seem certain to boil over during a camping trip the three take together, as Diego struggles with powerful feelings for two people. Will tears and trauma be the end result? Or will the three find their way to a more satisfactory design for living that suits them with greater authenticity?

Núñez creates tension and tenderness alike as the story unfolds with surprising flashbacks and sensitive moments of reflection. Though narrated by Lorena, and often centering on Diego's experiences, the story belongs to all three characters, while the Chilean setting becomes a fourth character of its own, with cinematographer Benjamín Luna Vaccarezza capturing the region's natural beauty and the gentle, unobtrusive score creating a mood somewhere between realism and an erotic dream. In Spanish.

"Al Mare (To the Sea)" screens at OUTshine.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.