A few months, or maybe even now a year ago, i stumbled upon an amazing short film while browsing tumblr. Called “I Don’t Want to Go Back Alone” or in Portuguese “Eu Não Quero Voltar Sozinho, it is a Brazillian short film released in 2010. The main charcater is Leo, a blind student, who goes to school and is very close with his childhood friend Gia. The Gabriel appears, a very cute new student who befriends both Leo and Gia and enters seamlessly into their lives. Leo falls for Gabriel and Gabriel for Leo, and its just perfect (except it ends basically after that). You can watch it here, and i highly recommend it.
But this review is not about that, it is about “The Way He Looks” or “Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho”, the film adaptation of the short film. I had been searching everywhere for a version with english subtitles, and tonight i found it. And i was so excited. I was itching to watch it, the short film just captured me, i watched it at least 4 times, and a whole movie with these characters and their stories was making me so excited.
Ill give you a brief rundown of the plot, it does differ from the short, but each are perfect in themselves (SPOILERS). Leo, Gia and Gabriel are older then the short. Gia and Leo are best friends, since childhood. The movie focus’ on Leo’s desire for independence. His parents are overprotective, worried that as he is blind something will happen to him, and control his actions and look out for him a bit too excessively. He wants to be able to go on school camps, walk around and hang out without his parents calling him, and in the future study abroad. His everyday life and his relationship with his best friend Gia and his parents all change when Gabriel arrives at the school. He gets bullied for being blind, but Gabriel doesn’t even notice or remember most times, asking him to see movies or if he has seen a cat video recently or if they want to go to see the eclipse. He treats him normally, and that is exactly what Leo wants. How close they get strains his relationship with Gia. They kiss at a party, but Gabriel says he cannot remember a thing as he was drunk, and Leo is conflicted. At a school camp Gabriel and another girl Karina are getting close, and it is at the camp where Leo tells Gia that he is in love with Gabriel. They tentatively restart their friendship after being a bit awkward after the party, and after questioning from Leo, Gabriel admits he did not hook up with Karina because he liked someone else, that he kissed, but he thinks they do not feel the same way. Leo kissed him, and they get together. The most beautiful scene was the end scene, when Leo is riding a bike assisted by Gabriel, something he said was impossible early in the movies.
Ok brief rundown on plot complete. This movie is so touching and heartwarming. It is a coming out movie that to me is not forced, hell the coming out of Leo is a minor aspect of the movie. They both develop feelings for eachother, and try to work it out, understand it, and figure out if they both feel the same..then they act on it. The movie focus’ on Leos need for independence, and Gabriel does give him some, treating him normally, sneaking him out of the house to go out with him. Gabriel is just Gabriel, and Leo falls for him.
I dont know what else i can write about this movie because i will never do it justice.
Please please watch it, both it and the short, it is so sweet and mushy and the story is perfection.
10/10 Would Recommend.