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Film / The Way He Looks

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Leo, if you stole a kiss, how would you return it?

A 2014 drama film directed, written and co-produced by Daniel Ribeiro.

Leonardo is a blind teenager whose life isn't without troubles - he's bullied at school, has to deal with his overprotective mother, and then there's the fact he's not even had his First Kiss yet...luckily his best friend Giovana is always there to help.

In a bid to become more independent, Leo considers signing up for an exchange program abroad. However, the arrival of a New Transfer Student leads him to develop feelings he's never felt before, and throws his life-long friendship with Giovana into complete disarray.

Originally titled Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho (Today I Want to Go Back Alone), it was based on the short film Eu Não Quero Voltar Sozinho (I Don't Want to Go Back Alone), by the same creator.

Provides Examples Of:

  • A Friend in Need: Giovana still protects Leo from Fabio’s pranks even though she and Leo aren’t on speaking terms. Unfortunately, Leo can’t see the situation and ends up giving Gi an underserved "Reason You Suck" Speech, leading straight into the Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure.
  • All There in the Script: The teachers' names are only given in the credits.
  • Ascended Extra: Subverted with Larissa.note  She still plays her role, but she barely even appears.
  • Blind Seer: See Dreaming of Things to Come, below, by which Leonardo might technically qualify.
  • Book Ends: Two scenes in the beginning of the movie are given a callback to at the end. The first being The "Take That!" Kiss this time however displays the Character Development Leo has undergone. The second with a New Transfer Student is more of a Here We Go Again! .
  • Break-Up/Make-Up Scenario
  • Brick Joke: When Gabriel commented about learning braille being impossible, Leonardo replied that "impossible" would be for him to guide a bike. The movie's final scene is Leonardo guiding a bike with Gabriel taking a ride.
  • Catchphrase: Leonardo often reacts to his friends being silly by calling "Besta." (dolt).
  • Classical Music Is Boring: Gi tells Leo this while there at the pool with Gabriel.
  • Coming of Age Story: The main theme of the movie is Leonardo's desire to become more independent, with a "discovering your sexuality" sub-plot orbiting around it.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Leonardo has a dream about Karina calling Gabriel to go swimming with no need for bathing suits. It happens, but they keep their underwear on and have the courtesy of inviting Leonardo.
  • Flipping the Bird: One of Leonardo's reactions to Fábio's teasing.
  • Freudian Trio: Superego: Leo— He’s sensitive and caring but, very logical in his reasoning towards other people. However he's not so much emotionless but, very "blind" to others (Gi's and his mother’s) emotions sometimes coming off as insensitive. Often due to the fact he can't see what his friends can, missing details that happen around him. Id: Gi— Protective and not afraid to speak her mind. Most of the Inter friendship-conflict is driven by her being Jealous of both Leo and Gabriel and choosing to ignore them. Ego: Gabriel — Tells Gi not to bottle her feelings up and helps Leo to be more at peace with himself and his other classmates.
  • Girlfriend in Canada: To avoid kissing Karina, Gabriel makes up stories about a girlfriend in his hometown.
  • Handy Helper: Being Leonardo's best friend, Giovana does him many favors, including taking him home everyday, even though she needs to walk two blocks further than her house. Gabriel later takes her role, causing some jealousy.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Downplayed but definitely when compared to the short. The film itself is still pretty innocent but it deals with more sexual themes. Comes with shirtless scenes, shower scenes and Leo gets to masturbate.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Leonardo wants to be independent, and claims to be sick of people trying to control him.
  • In-Series Nickname: Leonardo and Giovana are commonly addressed as Léo and Gi. At one point, Karina calls Gabriel "Ga", which is not as usual.note 
  • Invisible Parents: played straight in the short. Justified since its fifteen minutes that’s really only the three characters at school. In the movie since it has to focus on all aspects of Leo’s life in order to get the point across.
  • Karma Houdini: The worst that happens to Fábio is the teacher sending him to the principal in the beginning of the film.
  • Kick the Dog: When Leonardo is walking by himself, Fábio and his gang make him trip.
  • Last Guy Wins: In the ending, another new student comes and takes the seat beside Giovana.
  • Layman's Terms: Gabriel usually has to describe things to Leo and since Leo can’t see Gabriel has to use non-visual terms.
  • Love Allegory: In a platonic version Leonardo explains to Giovana that she’s the moon, and Gabriel is the earth during a lunar eclipse. The moon disappears for a while behind the earth but it’ll always come back. Also Call-Back bonus points for it being how Gabriel described an eclipse to him.
  • Love Theme: "There’s Too Much Love" definitely counts. When it starts playing, you know something adorable is about to happen.
  • Love Triangle: Giovana gets jealous about Leonardo and Gabriel's closeness. She hopelessly kisses Gabriel when they're drunk.
    • And then Karina takes Giovana's place, only now Leonardo is the jealous one. Gabriel evades her through Girlfriend in Canada.
  • No Antagonist: Fabio and Guilherme while annoying are just common bullies that indirectly help drive Leo to grow as a character. Karina is thought to be a love rival to Leo and Gi for Gabriel but, in actuality she is neither Antagonistic nor Villainous to Leo or Gi. Even Leo's mother who prevents him from going out like a regular teenager is shown to truly care about her son and is learning to accept his need for independence
  • One-Steve Limit: Subverted. Leonardo's father is named Carlos and the vodka student is called Carlinhos.note 
  • Only One Name: Everyone. Very common, in Brazilian productions.
  • Open-Minded Parent: While Laura states it's final that Leonardo won't go for the exchange program, Carlos later promises him that he'll try to convince her otherwise.
  • Romantic Ride Sharing: Early in the film, Leonardo comments to Gabriel (who gives him bike rides) that it would be impossible for him to ride a bicycle. The film ends with Leo and Gabriel confessing their relationship to their friends and riding a single bicycle down a road, with Leo cycling and Gabriel standing on the back wheel and helping him steer.
  • Running Gag: People inviting Leonardo for vision-centered activities,note  oblivious/forgetting about his condition. He ends up going to all of them, anyway.
  • Straight Gay: Both Leo and Gabriel.
  • Straight Manand Wise Guy: Gabriel, the wise guy, helps Leo, the Straight man come out of his shell around his classmates.
  • Sentimental Drunk: Vodka was the key for both Giovana to steal a kiss from Gabriel and Gabriel to steal a kiss from Leonardo.
  • Shirtless Scene: When Gabriel goes to Leonardo's room for the school project, he changes his shirt in front of him.
  • Shower Scene / Shower Shy: Leonardo refuses to shower with the other boys, and even when he and Gabriel were the only ones there, he kept his trunks on. For a while...
  • Spin the Bottle: It leads to Leonardo's first kiss, in an unexpected way.
  • Swapped Roles: Gabriel gives Leonardo rides on his bike. In the end, they switch.
  • "Take That!" Kiss: Downplayed. A variation with no kiss.
    (Leonardo, Gabriel and Giovana pass by, Léo holding Gabriel's arm)
    Fábio: Hey! I see the relationship is firm, huh?
    (They stop. Leonardo lets go of Gabriel's arm and they hold hands instead)
    Fábio's friend: (chuckles) You fucked yourself, sucker.
  • Title Drop: With the original title. When something kept Giovana from accompanying Leonardo on his way home, he stated he wanted to go back alone that day.
  • Twofer Token Minority: The protagonist is blind and gay.
  • With a Friend and a Stranger: Giovana’s the friend and Gabriel’s the stranger, shaking up the dynamics between Leo and Giovana.