Critic Reviews



Based on 8 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Rodrigo Santoro (Paulo on Lost, Xerxes in 300, and even better, Raúl Castro in Che) is mighty matinee-idol charismatic himself in the title role, alternating between swaggering lady-killer and ravaged victim of self-destruction.
Though powerfully acted and dazzlingly shot (by Walter Carvalho) in heavenly black and white, Heleno is a feverish opera that, like its doomed antihero, loses vitality much too soon.
That's not to say Heleno, with its magnetic energy, sensual re-creation of 1940s and '50s Brazil and bold storytelling lacks punch; the movie is nothing if not watchable. But, by presenting more surface than depth to De Freitas' womanizing, arrogance and volatility (an implied closeness to his unseen mother is about as far as the film digs), it largely feels like an arm's length effort.
Slant Magazine
The film hints at a kicky, impressionistic style that director José Henrique Fonseca never effectively employs to actually communicate Heleno de Freitas's demons.
The movie is basically The Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Mad Man, but don't be shocked if you find yourself asking just what art he was practicing in the first place.
Village Voice
You're stuck daydreaming about a far, far better movie.
What you get instead of soccer is almost two hours of late-stage syphilis.
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.

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