Positively enchanting, The Way He Looks is a feel-good high school romance that will likely warm over even the coldest, blackest and most bitter of hearts.
Blind student Leo (Ghilherme Lobo) doesn’t usually let his disability get him down. He’s of a sunny, cheery disposition – happy to lay around the pool with his best gal-pal Giovana (Tess Amorim). He wants to be treated like any other teenager. When new kid Gabriel (Fabio Audi) arrives at school, however, Leo starts feeling the pangs of puppy love and finds his confidence on less solid ground. Gabriel and Leo take an instant liking to each other and start spending a great deal of time together, but that makes Giovana feel left out and puts their friendship in jeopardy. On top of that, Leo is very worried that his feelings for Gabriel – who, for all Leo knows, is straight – might never be returned.
The cast in also uniformly excellent. Ghilherme Lobo is a compelling and endearing lead, Fabio Audi is a total high school dreamboat (it’s easy to see the attraction) and Tess Amorim, whose character, in lesser hands, could have been written as a complete drip, is thoroughly loveable and relatable as Leo’s jealous best friend.
The Way He Looks is based on writer-director Daniel Ribeiro’s 2010 short film of the same name – which won countless awards and charmed the pants off of audiences and juries during it’s initial film festival run. Anyone who has seen the original short will get the sense that Ribeiro is padding the run-time here. The short, after all, reached, in 17 minutes, the same heartwarming ending that the film takes 96 minutes to arrive at.
Spending time with these characters, though, is so pleasant that it hardly matters. The extra superfluous material is quite welcome. It’s nice to have extra time in this universe. It’s hard not to fall in love with this movie. Watch the trailer below. The Way He Looks is now available on Dekkoo.