This beautiful ghost/love story is an eloquent and haunting exploration of the road not taken, of the aching that comes from realizing, too late, that you allowed your greatest happiness, you're most profound love, to fade from your life with no chance of ever retrieving it. In a small coastal village in Peru lives Miguel, a fisherman, and his pregnant and devoted wife, Mariela. Theirs is a life of simple pleasures and surroundings, but they have love, family and a sense of community. Santiago, a worldly artist has been living off and on in the village for many years but to the town's residents he's an outsider, an untrustworthy interloper living on the fringe of their tight-knit existence. However, for Miguel, Tiago (as he refers to him) is anything but; in many ways, he is his other self. These two men have for many years, shared a profound and intense love that due to fear has sadly lingered in shadows for too long. Where Santiago wants to share a more open relationship with Miguel, the latter refuses, even going so far as to reject his own nature and dismissing their shared feelings as nothing more than a special friendship albeit one that he is unwilling to even acknowledge to the outside world; however, when Santiago threatens to leave again, perhaps for good this time, Miguel is crestfallen and equally angry. SPOILERS - One afternoon, Miguel arrives home to find Santiago sitting at his dinner table and becomes enraged and when Santiago sees his reaction he realizes that Miguel can see him. You see, Santiago is now a ghost. He died in an accident and his soul is trapped in that village but is, luckily, visible to Miguel and only Miguel, who, in turn, promises that he will do everything possible to free his soul from its Earth bound existence. But nothing could be further from the truth as now Miguel can openly love Santiago without fear of being ostracized yet all the while maintaining his comfortable domestic life. Now he may walk along the beach holding hands with his true love and now he may sit on the couch between his wife and Santiago and watch television and relax in selfish contentment. For once Miguel is seemingly at peace with himself and he's unwilling to ever part with that. After a couple of village kids stumble into Santiago's old beach shack and find paintings and drawings of a nude Miguel, the truth of his relationship with Santiago comes to light and it's rough going for everyone from that moment on. The magical realism quality of this film worked so exquisitely, it made my heart ache with both joy and pain. To see these two men who were so much in love but afraid be able to openly express it to one another is as moving as anything I have ever seen in a film. There are no tidy endings here so don't look for them. There are many casualties and those that survived bear scars. The performances were uniformly excellent, even the smallest role is acted perfectly but Cristian Mercado as Miguel is absolutely amazing. The score by Selma Mutal Vermeulen merits special mention as it adds immeasurably to the feel of the film. Both the screenplay and direction are uncontrived, honest and direct, thankfully lacking in pretense. The art direction and cinematography by Diana Trujillo and Mauricio Vidal, respectively, is almost lyrical. They turn a hardscrabble and poor fishing village into a magical place where both sea and arid landscapes merge to create windswept vistas of unusual and powerful beauty. Undertow is a poetic and poignant testament to the power of love, loss and redemption. It is filmmaking of the highest caliber.