Friday, September 26, 2014

Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho: The Way He Looks

In 2010 a Portuguese short film titled I Don't Want To Go Back Alone premiered. The short film told the story of a young blind boy, Leo, who begins to discover his sexuality as he yearns for more independence. The received rave reviews and won many awards.
Shortly after, a feature length version of the film was put into production. The feature film was named Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho, which translates to Today I Want To Go Back Alone. I was able to find a link online to view this film, however do to the the fact that it has not been released in the US or UK, there were no english subtitles. Luckily I found a friend who was also a huge fan on the short film and movie. So much so that he learned enough Portuguese to understand the movie and translate it for me.
Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho does a fantastic job expanding on the short film it was based upon. While there is the basic plot of the short, the film adds a second theme to the story, the main characters independence. This can be seen in the changing of the films title. The short's title, I Don't Want to Go Back Alone focus' on Leo's desire for companionship as well as his struggling sexuality. The feature film changed the name to Today I Want To Go Back Alone. This feature focuses much more on Leo's desire for independence. As a blind young adult, Leo is under constant supervision by his teachers, friends, as well as his over protective parents, who are absent from the short. This constant supervision and helicopter parenting only hampers Leo's desire to go abroad. Things change for Leo when he develops feelings for Gabriel, the new student at the school. What I really enjoyed about the film is that it was a believable story. The characters actions were not overdone and had an element of truth to them. It played out in a manner that two young men discovering their sexualities and not being fully sure of it would act. The film isn't large on any scale, it's a short, sweet, and well told story with a whole lot of heart. My friend with who I watched it with described it perfectly as being both heartwarming and heartbreaking. 
Well written/portrayed gay characters

The film passes the Russo test with flying colors which as you know from a previous post, holds a very personal importance to me. The gay characters in this film are not portrayed as stereotypes, which once again, is very nice to see. Had you not watch them slowly fall for eachother you would not be able to tell what their sexuality is, which is how it should be. So if you find yourself wanting to watch a different kind of romance/coming of age and happen to know portuguese, though I was able to tell what was going on well enough visually.) then be sure to check out Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho. Or as it's known by its terrible punned american title. The Way He Looks. 

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