(2016, 93 min)
Director: Joan Fermi Marti
Studio: TLA Releasing
Language: Spanish with subtitles
Siblings Emma and Toni inherit their family's horse riding school Ė a place where men are seemingly forever running around shirtless. Though they're the rightful owners, neither Emma nor Toni seem well equipped to keep the business going. Emma is still young and Toni has an uncontrolled and promiscuous gay sex life Ė which is the subject of much gossip within their close-knit community. Leadership responsibilities fall to Ramon, the capable foreman. Things get tricky, though, when both Emma and Toni fall in love with homophobic Ramon's smoking hot, sexually fluid son Aaron..
A fabulous and delicious, totally erotic new forbidden love story, Wild Awakening is equal parts drama and steamy gay soap opera!
Siblings Toni (Fabian Castro) and Emma (Julia Hernandez) work together running a riding school with the help of foreman Ramon (Richie Ormon). Toni is very relaxed when it comes to carrying out his responsibilities, instead opting to bring a parade of hot gay men into his bed. The arrival of Ramonís son Aaron (Christian Blanch) turns the heads of both Toni and Emma causing friction between the two. Ramon turns down Emmaís advances and embarks on a flirtatious pursuit of Toni under the disapproving eye of his homophobic father.
Iíll say right at the start of the review that if youíre looking for high production values then Wild Awakening probably isnít going to be your cup of tea. The film can be best described as a guilty pleasure with the tone and subtly of a telenovela. If you can get past the cheesy music and the questionable direction choices of Joan Fermi Marti, there is actually a half decent film here.
Wild Awakening hardly tells an original story but it still manages to hook your interest and keep it for the duration. The opening moments establish a mystery and the rest of the film jumps back in time to unravel it. Iím surprised to say that the ending threw a curveball that I wasnít expecting and I fully thought I knew exactly how the film was going to progress and loop back to the opening moments.
Sex mad, relationship-phobe Toni is by far the filmís most interesting character and itís not just because of model/actor Fabian Castroís stunning good looks (although that definitely helps). Castro plays the role with loveable naughtiness and he really allows Toni to revel in his forbidden relationship with Aaron, knowing full well that heís upsetting his sister Emma in the process. Thereís also a few gratuitous naked shots of Castro (and also Blanch) that definitely help with the enjoyment of the movie.
Elsewhere the acting is fairly inconsequential. Nobody other than Castro particularly stands out but thatís not to say theyíre bad. The characters are very under-written so thereís not a whole lot for the actors to sink their teeth into. There are some bizarre, but enjoyable moments, such as Aaron stripping naked in the middle of the night to brush a horse (as you do) and Toniís ex-boyfriend hooking up at the stables with a random in an act of revenge sex.
Wild Awakening is out to give you a cheap thrill and it succeeds in doing so. By the time the credits roll youíll feel like you enjoyed it a whole lot more than you ought to and I bet youíll be straight onto Instagram stalking Castro (or is that just me?). Wild Awakening isnít trying to reinvent the wheel and it succeeds in being a frothy, sexy and very guilty pleasure that youíll wind up watching a few times, if only to see the gorgeous half naked men that take up most of the screen time.
-- Review by Pip Ellwood-Hughes, Entertainment Focus (http://www.entertainment-focus.com)