Boys, bikes, beaches and brotherhood in both Brazil and Berlin combine in Futuro Beach where romance emerges in the most unhappy and unlikely situation and develops across time and across continents.
Konrad (Clemens Schick) and Heiko (Fred Lima) have spent time in the army on service in Afghanistan but have now left the forces and will start a new life with their motorbike business in Germany, after enjoying a biking and beach holiday in Brazil and other parts of South America. But on the beautiful Futuro Beach things go horribly wrong. An accident results in Heiko’s death – beach lifeguard Donato (Wagner Moura) cannot save him from a watery grave. Heiko is clearly drowned but his body cannot be found in the treacherous waters, no matter how determined Konrad is to find his friend. During this sad time he forms a romantic relationship with Donato. Donato is very close to his younger brother (Savio Ygor Ramos) who names him as superhero Aquaman, but he has deeper family problems that are not initially apparent to his new lover. A while later, Donato decides to visit Konrad in Germany. Although their relationship is truly passionate, their pasts and their commitments across continents threaten their new life together, with Donato eventually deciding to stay. However when Donato’s brother, Ayrton (Jesuíta Barbosa), appears in Germany some years later, emotional and familial issues surface once more.
Told in three distinct cinematic chapters, Futuro Beach steps beyond its touristy title to create a drama where themes of happiness and sadness evolve to make for a compelling character piece. The story revolves around Donato’s relationships with both Konrad (as a lover) and Ayrton (as a brother). He is clearly adored by Ayrton, but abandons him for a boyfriend who lives a continent away, although he is not oblivious to the hurt that he will cause his family. He cannot bear to part from Konrad, although we learn that the foundations upon their relationship are not as solid as they might seem, despite their passionate lovemaking. ‘A hero cut in half’ is an apt title for this chapter of the story, for Donato initially feels a strong obligation to return to Brazil, to honour his commitments to his family and his job and, importantly, to the ocean. His brother’s nickname of ‘Aquaman’ is apt – despite being located many miles from the sea in Germany, he finds jobs connected with water, including cleaning the tanks of an aquarium. When Ayton appears in his life once more, matters are bound to be painful for all parties.
With excellent performances from all four actors (that is, including both the younger and older Ayrton) who portray the lead protagonists, it is the characterisation that enhances the minimalist plot. The combination of continental settings, from beaches to city centres, clubs and bars make the three chapters in Futuro Beach a varied piece that is reflected in the characters and the way that their relationship develops in the wake of such a tragic beginning. A film about a relationship that develops following such a horribly sad event which then results in the breakdown of another relationship, Futuro Beach is a tender and occasionally wistful drama.