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.
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.
[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.
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.