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'Hawaii' Review: Trouble in paradise



When two former boyhood friends reunite during one fateful summer in the Argentinean countryside the sexual tension runs as hot as the weather. "Hawaii" explores the tense feelings that these two men endure but unfortunately you could cut that same tension with a knife and still be unable to use the pieces to make an engaging story.

Hawaii Stills-slide0
Canteen Outlaws

As Marco Berger's debut as both a producer and a director, "Hawaii" is a tale of awkward silence and uncomfortable love.

The film starts slow with approximately ten minutes of soft music playing and few to no words spoken before the title fades into view. This sets the slow, sluggish pace of the film.

"Hawaii" focuses on Martin and Eugenio, two childhood friends who end up finding each other in the countryside. A homeless and struggling Martin comes across Eugenio on his summer home and ends up becoming employed by him for the summer.

This begins a strange business relationship that often crosses the line. More often than not, Eugenio asks Martin to hang out with him instead of working. They spend time in the pool, taking walks and shooting BB guns in the woods.

These two friends start to get comfortable within the friendship and on occasion end up dressing in front of each other and even using the bathroom without trying to get out of view. The glances both take at each other are noticeable and add to the tension that builds up between them.

"Hawaii" doesn't give much except sexual tension throughout the entire movie. It relies too heavily on trying to hook the audience with it, instead of giving a compelling storyline.

It instead hopes that showing the two men shirtless and having various closeups on their budges will distract us from the missing pieces of the film.

The film is aimed at the LGBT crowd and rightfully so, but the appeal to wider audience may have been missed.

The Argentinian countryside is beautiful and provides a wonderful backdrop to the story. Martin and Eugenio are isolated from everyone else but each other. It makes their love seem more forbidden, secretive and seductive.

"Hawaii" is very one dimensional in terms of what it's trying to be. It's just a story about sexual attraction. There isn't drama or comedy or any other elements thrown into it. You're spoon-fed sexual tension and that's all that is supposed to sustain you for 102 minutes.

With very few commendable qualities, "Hawaii" isn't the titillating bromance it claims to be.

If you only watch this film for gratuitous shots of attractive men battling with their sexuality, you certainly wont care about all short-comings of the film.

For everyone else, "Hawaii" is certainly no trip to paradise.

"Hawaii" is presented in Spanish with English Subtitles and is set to be released on February 18th on DVD and VOD.

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