November 13, 2014

The Way He Looks (2014)

The Way He Looks (2014) - Movie Review
Directed by: Daniel Ribeiro
Country: Brazil

Movie Review: Daniel Ribeiro’s coming of age drama, “The Way He Looks”, gained my respect for the positive messages put forward but never reached my deepest feelings or sympathy, as it draws the story of a blind teen student, Leo, who little by little discovers his sexuality. The film opens with a great shot, geometrically composed, of Leo and his best female friend Giovana having a relaxed chat by the pool. They talk about who will be the first girl to kiss Leo who grows more unhappy at home where his super attentive parents don’t give him enough space to live his life. Leo seeks an independence that would be almost impossible in his hometown, São Paulo, that’s why he shows a huge desire to leave and study abroad. In school, he’s subjected to improper behaviors of some colleagues who like to make fun of him. When his stability starts being affected, a new student, Gabriel, arrives at school, getting closer to him as they work on a project. The pair falls in love, fact that will trigger jealousy in Giovana whose friendship becomes vacillating. The only motive that made me keep following “The Way He Looks” relates to the fact that Leo is blind, consequently falling in love with his friend for what he really is, and not for his physical appearance. As for the rest, the film works much better addressing the vicissitudes of friendship than actually portraying a teen gay romance. Unfortunately, Ribeiro’s initial premise seemed to be stuck, where the mix of innocence and dissatisfaction of the main character, resulted more irritating than charming. Exhibiting an intermittent pace and an ultra-sweet finale, “The Way He Looks” failed to enrapture.

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