The lovers in the romantic drama “Luz” do not meet under ideal circumstances. Ruben (Ernesto Reyes) is a new inmate in a minimal security prison. He is merged with Carlos (Jesse Tayeh), who immediately threatens him for using his shared sink. If Ruben strikes back, it will be the first sign that the duo are evenly matched.
Carlos begins to warm to Ruben and becomes a mentor, while Ruben gets used to prison life. As roommates, they eat together and save together. They share stories from their past and dreams for their future. They’re intimate before they ever have sex.
The film follows their relationship from its humble beginnings to their life outside of prison after the couple survived a breakup caused by varying sentence lengths. When Ruben finds Carlos after his release, Carlos invites his former lover back into his life.
Together, the couple must decide whether it is worth carrying the connection they made while in detention into their free lives – if each wants the other to meet and merge with the family. The affair between Ruben and Carlos alternates between passionate sex and whispered intimacies.
The film’s writer and director, Jon Garcia, openly treats the physicality of their romance, staging realistic love scenes that show the attraction between the characters. But Garcia is less adept at finding passion between sex scenes. The relationship between Ruben and Carlos is serious and annoying. The first time strings are played in the score, they create a plaintive, captivating feeling. When the same theme is played for the 15th time, the romance feels monotonous.
Not rated. Running time: 1 hour 58 minutes. In theaters. Please consult the Policies of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention before viewing films in theaters.