Review by Shaylynn Lynch
The Empty Hours (2013)
“Las horas muertas” (original title)
101 min – Drama | Romance
Director: Aarón Fernández Lesur
Writer: Aarón Fernández Lesur
Stars: Kristyan Ferrer, Adriana Paz
The Empty Hours is a simple story about a 17 year old boy and the few weeks he spends overseeing his uncle’s motel. When Sebastian’s uncle is forced to seek long term medical attention for an unknown condition, he leaves his beach front motel in Sebastian’s hands.Sebastian quickly learns to practice the motel’s most sacred rule; discretion.
As Sebastian tends to the motel and finds ways to pass the droning hours between clients, and he strikes up a friendship with one of the regulars. She frequents the motel to meet up with her ever-late lover; a married man who cannot seem to make her a priority. The attraction between her and Sebastian grows as she is constantly left alone and waiting. The two begin a game of guessing the identity, profession and entanglements of the clients at the little motel. The environment at the motel creates a highly erotic atmosphere since every guest is there for the sole purpose of sex, and no one stays longer than a few hours.
The pace of the film is extremely tame. Most of the film depicts the time between character interactions and although this gets slightly mundane it helps to intensify what few interactions there are. There is a lot of waiting, a lot of people watching, and a lot of empty hours. But to be very clear, this is by no means a boring movie, it takes its time to tell its simple story and highlights the grueling period of time when a boy is eager to become a man, but has nothing to do but wait.
The Empty Hours manages to be very sexy, without being vulgar. It is tasteful yet raunchy enough to compensate for the slow uneventful majority of the plot. The characters are not complex or complicated yet they are captivating enough to carry the entire film with very little dialogue. The screenplay is basic and predictable but entertaining and even beautiful if, intentionally understated.
Overall, The Empty Hours is a story with relate-able characters and a genuinely honest view of the time between the most important moments in our lives.
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