BFI Flare 2024: Since The Last Time We Met (2023) (Desde la última vez que nos vimos)

Fifteen years after the sudden end of their secret relationship, Victor and David meet unexpectedly and soon reignite their passionate affair with high emotional stakes for both in writer/director Matias De Leis Correa’s Since the Last Time We Met.

Reopening old wounds

by Chris Drew

Since the last time we met

CAUTION: Here be spoilers

When thirty-somethings Victor (Patricio Arellano, Recortadas) and David (Esteban Recagno, Muerto de Risa) run into each other in their Buenos Aires neighbourhood we learn it has been 5475 days – fifteen years – since the last time they met. 

(An on-screen ‘day counter’ becomes an effective storytelling device throughout.)

The pair are surprised but pleased to see each other and learn they are near neighbours; Victor learns that David has recently moved to the area with his wife.

Agreeing they would like to catch up, David awkwardly momentarily needs help unblocking Victor’s number, foreshadowing the reveal of what happened between them years before.

Later David comes over to Victor’s for drinks and soon makes a badly received move, and Victor throws him out. Sometime later David comes back to apologise, which Victor begrudgingly allows.

When Victor wants to talk about the past, we learn that David had abruptly ended their clandestine relationship as young men when he ended all contact, leaving Victor in the dark and unable to share with anyone.

David discovers that work-focussed Victor has had no meaningful relationships since, illustrated by his frosty and dismissive post-sex attitude to an eager hook-up at the start of the film.

Despite Victor’s misgivings, and David’s marriage, they inevitably give in to their attraction and have the first of many passionate encounters.

Their trysts are usually every two or three weeks whenever David can get away, leaving Victor pining for him with constant doubts abounding in the background.

A trip to Victor’s uncle’s idyllic holiday cottage provides time together but David is nervous about their being seen and a major argument threatens to derail the entire relationship.

Eventually the inevitable end arrives when David, after a longer than usual hiatus, emotionally reveals news in his marriage, with Victor fully expecting the painful news which has seemingly surprised David.

The ending has a bittersweet flash-forward coda which, while perhaps a little predictable, is an effective and soulful conclusion.

As an intimate two-hander the film relies naturally heavily on the performances.

As the heart of the film Arellano beautifully communicates Victor’s emotional intensity and conflict with so much deep feeling across his face throughout. You are never in any doubt as to just what a colossal effect the heartbreak had on his life, but he cannot help being drawn back in.

As David, Recagno is effective playing the married man as frustratingly immature and unaware of the potential, and probable, repercussions of the affair.

Anyone who has ever had their heart broken will connect with Matias De Leis Correa’s emotional film about the power and pain of lost love.

Since the Last Time We met screened at the 2024 BFI Flare Festival

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