You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hugs and Kisses

Debuting Spanish director Antonio Maria Garate's "Hugs and Kisses" approaches complex themes of fraternal love and the conflict between political convictions and emotional loyalties. The drama's serious intentions are undermined, however, by hokey, soap-operatic plotting and some awkward acting, probably limiting its circulation to European TV. Some gay fests also may partake.

Debuting Spanish director Antonio Maria Garate’s “Hugs and Kisses” approaches complex themes of fraternal love and the conflict between political convictions and emotional loyalties. The drama’s serious intentions are undermined, however, by hokey, soap-operatic plotting and some awkward acting, probably limiting its circulation to European TV. Some gay fests also may partake.

Still disappointed that her beloved older brother, Tono, was too busy to come home to Pamplona for her 20th birthday, Maritxu receives word that he’s in the emergency ward of a Madrid hospital. She arrives in time to watch him die from injuries sustained during a beating from neo-fascist skinhead assailants in a park the previous night.

Unsatisfied with the efforts of the police inspector assigned to the case, Maritxu begins her own investigation. She shacks up in Tono’s old apartment, quickly kindling romantic sparks with his former roommate, Juan, and friction of a less agreeable kind with Juan’s brother Ricardo.

Realizing her brother was gay, Maritxu begins to visit the scene of the attack, looking for clues. Help comes from effeminate park regular Uve, who tends to stray cats and presides like a magic spirit over the nocturnal playground. When Maritxu’s investigation leads her back to Ricardo, he reveals the unbridgeable gap between his feelings for Tono and his political views.

The pic is visually sharp and competently directed, but too many of its major dramatic junctions are telegraphed by a clumsy script that painstakingly spells out its points about intolerance. Rampant overacting doesn’t help.

Hugs and Kisses

(SPANISH)

Production: A Garate/Television Espanola TVE production. (International sales: TVE, Madrid.) Produced by Antonio Maria Garate. Directed, written by Antonio Maria Garate.

Crew: Camera (color), Teo Delgado; editor, Garate; music, Jose Sanchez-Sanz; art direction, Ana Llena; costume design, Teresa Mora; sound, Paco Peramos; assistant director, Nuria Lapastora. Reviewed at Rotterdam Film Festival (noncompeting), Jan. 31, 1996. Running time: 88 MIN.

With: With: Maria Bornaechea, Rafael Santamaria, Angel Ruiz, Concha Grau.

More Film

  • 'Braid' Review

    Tribeca Film Review: 'Braid'

    Debuting Spanish director Antonio Maria Garate’s “Hugs and Kisses” approaches complex themes of fraternal love and the conflict between political convictions and emotional loyalties. The drama’s serious intentions are undermined, however, by hokey, soap-operatic plotting and some awkward acting, probably limiting its circulation to European TV. Some gay fests also may partake. Still disappointed that […]

  • Milos Forman's 'Loves of a Blonde'

    Milos Forman's 'Loves of a Blonde' to Open Karlovy Vary Film Festival

    Debuting Spanish director Antonio Maria Garate’s “Hugs and Kisses” approaches complex themes of fraternal love and the conflict between political convictions and emotional loyalties. The drama’s serious intentions are undermined, however, by hokey, soap-operatic plotting and some awkward acting, probably limiting its circulation to European TV. Some gay fests also may partake. Still disappointed that […]

  • RBG

    Israel's Docaviv Festival to Focus on Women, Refugees for Landmark 20th Edition

    Debuting Spanish director Antonio Maria Garate’s “Hugs and Kisses” approaches complex themes of fraternal love and the conflict between political convictions and emotional loyalties. The drama’s serious intentions are undermined, however, by hokey, soap-operatic plotting and some awkward acting, probably limiting its circulation to European TV. Some gay fests also may partake. Still disappointed that […]

  • LevelK Acquires Mairi Cameron’s Australian Sexy

    LevelK Acquires Mairi Cameron’s Australian Sexy Thriller 'The Second' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Debuting Spanish director Antonio Maria Garate’s “Hugs and Kisses” approaches complex themes of fraternal love and the conflict between political convictions and emotional loyalties. The drama’s serious intentions are undermined, however, by hokey, soap-operatic plotting and some awkward acting, probably limiting its circulation to European TV. Some gay fests also may partake. Still disappointed that […]

  • 'Mapplethorpe' Review

    Tribeca Film Review: 'Mapplethorpe'

    Debuting Spanish director Antonio Maria Garate’s “Hugs and Kisses” approaches complex themes of fraternal love and the conflict between political convictions and emotional loyalties. The drama’s serious intentions are undermined, however, by hokey, soap-operatic plotting and some awkward acting, probably limiting its circulation to European TV. Some gay fests also may partake. Still disappointed that […]

  • J.K. Rowling on the Future of

    J.K. Rowling on the Future of Harry Potter Stories on Stage

    Debuting Spanish director Antonio Maria Garate’s “Hugs and Kisses” approaches complex themes of fraternal love and the conflict between political convictions and emotional loyalties. The drama’s serious intentions are undermined, however, by hokey, soap-operatic plotting and some awkward acting, probably limiting its circulation to European TV. Some gay fests also may partake. Still disappointed that […]

  • 'Scary Mother' Named Top Film at

    'Scary Mother' Named Top Film at Beijing Festival

    Debuting Spanish director Antonio Maria Garate’s “Hugs and Kisses” approaches complex themes of fraternal love and the conflict between political convictions and emotional loyalties. The drama’s serious intentions are undermined, however, by hokey, soap-operatic plotting and some awkward acting, probably limiting its circulation to European TV. Some gay fests also may partake. Still disappointed that […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content