The Way He Looks – Movie Review by Frank L.
Director: Daniel Ribeiro
Writer: Daniel Ribeiro (script)
Stars: Ghilherme Lobo, Fabio Audi, Tess Amorim |
In this perceptively realised debut feature film by Daniel Ribeiro, he tells the story of Leonardo (Ghilherme Lobo) who is blind from birth. His inseparable childhood friend is Giovan (Tess Amorim) but they are both now adolescents discovering the joys and heartaches of metamorphosing from child to adult. Leonardo because of his blindness faces additional issues to a certain extent magnified by the possessiveness of his parents because of his blindness for which they have good reason to be concerned given the behaviour of at least one pupil at school towards Leonardo. Then a new boy Gabriel (Fabio Audi) arrives at the school and a new dynamic begins to develop between Leonardo, Giovan and Gabriel- at a young age they discover the eternal triangle.
The three principal actors create their respective characters convincingly. Their doubts, desires, fears and affronts are all credibly realised with a natural simplicity. So are the actions of the less pleasant school colleagues together with the concerns of the overly possessive parents. This is a cast well directed. Particularly impressive is the noting of trivial areas of daily activity from which Leonardo is excluded such a going to see a movie. It highlights the additional pressures which an adolescent with a disability faces as he tries to live on an equal footing with his contempories.
Ribeiro is to be congratulated in creating a rite of passage movie which is heartfelt without being sentimental or gushing and which investigates with a certain deftness of touch issues of blindness, bullying, and sexual desires.