Everlasting Love, written and directed by Marçal Forés, is a wanna-be mysterious thriller surrounding a teacher who begins a secret relationship with a longing student before discovering he young man has a deadly secret. Carlos (Joan Bentallé) is a language schoolteacher who frequents the local cruising ground after work where gay men, lesbians and teenagers find fleeting sexual partners. One afternoon he recognises one of his students, Toni (Aimar Vega), wondering through the woods with his friends. After class the next day, Toni asks Carlos for a ride, and the two end up having hot and steamy sex in the back of the car. While Carlos is adamant this is a one-time thing, Toni’s youthful innocence gets the better of him and he develops a crush. Despite his wishes to keep it a one-night stand, Carlos and Toni meet again, and again before Carlos begins to realise there is something odd going on with Toni and his friends.
Often with foreign films there are elements that don’t quite translate, but with Everlasting Love this is not the case, I understood everything, I just didn’t think it was very good. In fact, it was more confusing than anything. While letting the imagination run wild is a good thing, it’s difficult to decipher what Toni and his friends are. At the beginning of the film, a young girl is seen being taken by the group and is turned into something, but you are never quite sure what. However, this is not the first time I’ve seen a vampire ‘thriller’ where the vampires eat the flesh of their victims.
The film does build the suspense, and you are wondering what will happen next and who they are going to target, but it never quite follows through. There is an effort to make the film mysterious, but the confusion of what is even happening gets in the way. At the risk of spoiling the ending, the music is super out of context. In the final scene of the film, there is a band playing an upbeat, indie, twang-y song that just doesn’t fit with the feel of the film. Sure, the lyrics match the story line, but I’ve just seen the bones of a man strung up after all of his flesh was eaten and now you are singing a upbeat song?
Even with these issues, there a few redeeming things about Everlasting Love. Toni’s youthfulness gets him riled up and caught up in his love for an older man. He becomes a little clingy and seems to put himself in positions where Carlos can do nothing but take him back to bed. The sex scenes in this film are outstanding; they are a little bit violent and very passionate with this fleeting feeling that this might be the last time it happens. But this doesn’t make up for the confusion the rest of the script brings. Everlasting Love has a stab at being a dark and mysterious film with an element of thrill, but stops just short of the mark leaving you confused and asking what is actually happening right now?