Film #168: The Way He Looks (2014)

hoje-eu-queroaka: Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho
Director: Daniel Ribeiro
Language: Portuguese
Length: 96 minutes
Watched on: 25 October 2015

I’ve been hearing good things about this movie for a long time now, and I thought it was about time to check it out – I also found out where to acquire it from, which is a big part of tracking down niche movies like this.

It’s a romance between a blind boy and the new kid in school, the striking man with curly hair. Over the course of the movie, the blind guy is trying to assert his independence, and the curly-haired guy is the only one who, he feels, has given him the requisite respect. His parents are scared of letting him leave home, and his best friend also smothers him and insists on walking home with him.

As a portrayal of a blind person, it seems to be pretty accurate. I don’t actually know many blind people, so I’m sure they could come in and correct me on that, but it would be easy for a seeing actor to accidentally react to a visual cue, and the actor in this is pretty good at not doing that (since I think he’s not actually blind). The kinds of feelings and emotions that he feels are pretty relatable for any teenager, but have a particular perspective to them.

As a gay love story, it certainly treads familiar ground as a portrayal of coming out and the occasional homophobic (but in this case also ablist, of course) bullying, but it allows the romance to grow slowly over the course of the film, and is incredibly sweet to witness.

In general, I think it was a very well made film. The acting is realistic, and the actors know their way around their characters well and can act naturally. This means that I believed in the movie a lot more. It comes with a strong recommendation from me.

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