Gifted with incredible athletic talent, Brazilian-born Heleno de Freitas conquered the soccer world in the 1940s. As his fame and fortune grew to new heights, his passion for a decadent life of women and nightclubs threatened his career. Featuring an Awards-caliber performance by Rodrigo Santoro (300, What to Expect When You're Expecting), Heleno depicts the thrilling life of the world's first sports superstar. (c) Screen Media
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Critic Reviews for Heleno
There's just so much one can care about this star athlete and his self-destructive journey.
What you get instead of soccer is almost two hours of late-stage syphilis.
Equal parts temper and tenderness, lust and incaution, "Heleno" is short on specifics but long on impression.
José Henrique Fonseca's handsome black-and-white, impressionistic bio-drama goes very Raging Bull-ish, to tell a piece of the story of Heleno de Freitas, a Brazilian soccer star with matinee-idol charisma.
From its flash-forward framing sequence to its glossy black and white images, the film emulates Raging Bull in nearly every particular, while failing to capture even a sliver of that tortured-soul sports-movie's insight or visceral power.
The script rarely digs beneath the surface of its intriguing subject.
A shallow glimpse into the life of Heleno de Freitas that's anchored by breathtaking black-and-white cinematography and a bravura, raw performance by Rodrigo Santoro. It ultimately nourishes your heart more than your mind.
Heleno might have been stronger by better avoiding the clichés of its genre-yet there are still benefits to this stylish work.
[C]uriously all but avoids the game -- except for a few opportunities for Heleno, a hothead with no self-control, to berate and abuse his teammates -- in favor of a lurid focus on his other public exploits.
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