Film & TV

ST. ALi Italian Film Festival: Glassboy

Pino is isolated from the outside world due to medical issues. He is determined to prove he can live life like any other kid

Samuele Rossi’s whimsical and colourful film Glassboy provides an entertaining romp that the whole family can enjoy.

The film follows Pino, a child suffering from haemophilia, as he is isolated from the outside world. Driven by his overactive imagination and a desire for freedom, he decides to prove that he can live his life as a normal kid.

The fanciful Pino is played by Andrea Arru, who balances the dramatic and comedic touches of the film with a skill beyond his years. The entire cast of child actors all hold their own and provide strong performances. Props to Rossi for directing his child actors to mature performances.

The cinematography by Ariel Salati is inventive, especially in the first act, matching Pino’s overactive imagination as he is stuck inside. Overall, the use of colour in the lighting and costuming provides a bright and vibrant offbeat feel to the film. In several instances the cinematography pays direct homage to films from the 1980s, such as E.T and Back to the Future.

Pino’s haemophilia brings a sense of jeopardy to each scene, however the main external conflict in the film comes in far too late to have a strong impact. Stylistic elements that came with Pino’s unbridled imagination were set up early on, but were never fully realised later on in the film. This resulted in a unique feeling in the first half, followed by a more conventional style for the ending.

While adults are perhaps not the target audience for this film, it was still a pleasant experience to watch. It’s definitely a film that the whole family can enjoy and at a crisp 90 minutes, Glassboy has an ideal runtime for families looking for a day out at the cinema to watch something a bit different to the usual mainstream films aimed at children.

Reviewed by Kyle Dolan

Glassboy is currently screening as part of the ST. ALi Italian Film Festival at Palace Nova Eastend and Prospect.

To book tickets, click here.

whimsical 4 stars

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