The Reel Review


A rude, spoiled gay filmmaker obsessed with thoughts of suicide meets an obnoxious social media influencer at a gay nudist beach in Mexico. The day before they are due to meet up to collaborate at the artist’s Mexico City apartment, disaster strikes. Sebastián Silva stars in and directs this satirical LGBTQ+ mystery.

Jordan Firstman and Sebastian Silva in Rotting in the Sun

Rotting in the Sun is a scathing satire on privilege. Both the Chilean actor/director and the real-life social media influencer Jordan Firstman play cringeworthy versions of their actual selves, set to a hedonistic gay backdrop showcasing a lot of male full-frontal nudity and gay sex. It is an acerbic portrait of addiction – be it recreational drugs, gay hookup culture or social media – and features a ton of subtle, and not so subtle, messages.

Catalina Saavedra and Jordan Firstman in Rotting in the Sun

The film’s big twist is a delightful shocker, shifting the spotlight onto Catalina Saavedra as the poor put-upon housekeeper Vero. You’ll find yourself rooting for her as she navigates her strange world of culture clashes. Silva also sticks the ending, slapping the perfect exclamation point onto his nihilistic, feel-bad story.


Catalina Saavedra in The Maid

• Catalina Saavedra starred in Sebastián Silva’s acclaimed 2009 psychological thriller The Maid, about a housekeeper terrified of losing her job with the family for whom she’s worked for more than two decades.

Melania Trump’s jacket which sparked controversy during her 2018 visit to a children’s shelter at the U.S./Mexico border.

• The film’s inclusion of the Zara jacket whose backside reads “I really don’t care, do U?” is a jab at former U.S. First Lady Melania Trump, who wore the same jacket on a June 2018 visit to a children’s shelter at the U.S./Mexico border.

The more secluded Playa Del Amor at Mexico’s Zipolite Beach.

Rotting in the Sun was filmed in Mexico City and Zipolite Beach, Mexico’s only legal nudist beach.


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