"Down the Rabbit Hole in Havana"
What You Need To Know:
VIVA has a strong Romantic, politically correct worldview promoting homosexuality and cross-dressing. Thus, the movie has the kind of abhorrent, obscene behavior and crude language that seems to accompany movies with this kind of immoral worldview. That said, the subplot between Jesus and his brutish father is handled in a powerful way. It transcends the movie’s pro-homosexual agenda. Ultimately, therefore, VIVA is not totally without merit. Even so, MOVIEGUIDE® still finds most of the movie to be unacceptable and excessively obscene and immoral.
(RoRoRo, PaPa, HoHoHo, PCPC, B, C, LLL, V, SSS, NN, AA, DD, MM) Very strong Romantic worldview with strong pagan elements and very strong homosexual, cross-dressing elements where the main character is a young, poor homosexual hairdresser, who wants to be a drag queen onstage lip-syncing to songs performed by passionate female singers, handled in a somewhat politically correct way, but there’s a touching, redemptive subplot where the young man has to take care of his dying, estranged father, who’s just been released from prison because of his illness; 74 obscenities (mostly “s” and “f” words) and one strong profanity; drunken man punches son and fights people and brief boxing scene; homosexual behavior and cross dressing throughout movie, an extreme scene of depicted sodomy when young homosexual man prostitutes himself because father won’t let him earn money as a lip-synching female impersonator at a homosexual nightclub, and implied fornication between a girl and her boyfriend; rear male nudity in homosexual context and upper male nudity; alcohol use and drunkenness; smoking and marijuana use; and, rude behavior, lying, intimidation, gossip.
VIVA is a Spanish language drama set in Havana about a young man who wants to be a drag queen lip-syncing to passionate songs recorded by female singers and suddenly has to take care of his dying father who’s just been released from prison. VIVA has the usual abhorrent, obscene content associated with today’s lost, homosexual, transvestite pagan culture, but the drama between the young man and his estranged father has some powerful moments transcending the movie’s political correctness.
Jesus is a young, poor homosexual hairdresser. His biggest client is the owner of a drag queen bar, where men dress up as women to lip-sync to passionate songs recorded by great female singers. The owner agrees to let Jesus perform, and he becomes a hit.
However, his alcoholic father, who used to be a famous boxer, has just been released from prison. He sees Jesus perform and is disgusted. So, he forces Jesus to stop.
This halts the flow of money coming into their small, decrepit apartment. So, Jesus resumes the male prostitution activities he had been trying to flee.
Will Jesus be able to take a stand against his brutish father’s bad decision-making skills? Will his father change his self-destructive, hurtful ways?
VIVA has a strong Romantic, politically correct worldview promoting homosexuality and cross-dressing. Opposition to such immoral homosexual behavior is seen as evil and bigoted. Thus, the movie has the kind of abhorrent, obscene behavior and crude language that seems to accompany movies with this kind of immoral worldview.
That said, the subplot between Jesus and his brutish father is handled in a powerful way. Setting aside the movie’s political agenda, Jesus eventually is able to change his father’s brutish ways by honoring him as his father and treating him lovingly and respectfully. As his father sees the good qualities in his son, he becomes ashamed of his own behavior, including his alcoholism and the rude way he sometimes treats other people. [SPOILER ALERT] This subplot becomes even more powerful as it’s revealed that the only reason his father was released from prison is because he’s dying of alcoholic poisoning and doesn’t have much longer to live. As a result of all this, the relationship between Jesus and his father transcends the socio-political aspects of the movie’s plot about Jesus and his cross-dressing performances, as well as his homosexual “identity.”
Ultimately, therefore, VIVA is not totally without redemptive merit. That said, MOVIEGUIDE® still finds most of the movie to be unacceptable and excessively obscene and immoral.
On a funny side note, VIVA is actually an Irish movie, but it has a Spanish-speaking cast and script so that the filmmakers could enter their Irish movie in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Oscars. The movie lost to the winner, a Hungarian movie about the Holocaust titled SON OF SAUL.