He’s a world-famous football star who one day loses his mojo. It compels him to journey in search of genius, in a film quite unlike any other.
Bearing more than a passing resemblance to one hugely talented, astronomically paid Portuguese football sensation, Diamantino is a lightning rod on the pitch. Off it, he’s not the brightest bulb in the room, which allows his family to take advantage of him. But what he lacks in intellectual acumen he more than makes up for in empathy. And it’s that gift that causes him problems. After rescuing a boat of refugees and the subsequent death of his father, he loses his mojo and becomes a national disgrace. Rather than wallow in his misfortune, he sets out on a mission to find the source of genius.
Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt’s singular film successfully tackles global immigration, neo-fascism, the dangers of genetic modification and a host of other issues. It’s populated with cute dogs and pink fluffy clouds. And it shifts between surreal humour and moments of genuine, affecting emotion. All the while, it praises the Great Game. It’s that rare thing in cinema – a genuinely original film.