Wandering Heart ***
Starring: Leonardo Sbaraglia, Miranda de la Serna, Eva Llorach
Director: Leonardo Brzeznicki
Santiago (Sbaraglia) has recently split from his long-term partner, with whom he was desperately in love. Trying to understand his new place in the world without him, he also struggles with his headstrong teenage daughter Laila (de la Serna), who wants to break away from the shadow of her father. Santiago drinks too much, goes to sex parties and is slowly descending into a breakdown, but as father and daughter head to Brazil for a holiday together, the tension bubbling beneath the surface is building toward a much bigger eruption.
A moving family drama, this Argentinean character piece centres on a well-composed flawed protagonist, whose all-consuming grief about the loss of his partner has all but consumed him. Swinging back and forth between furious fatalism and absolute denial, the film’s most compelling sequence is when he takes his daughter to visit his ex-partner unannounced, trying desperately to pretend that their split had never happened. And the result is – of course – disastrous.
Leonardo Sbaraglia and Miranda de la Serna have real chemistry, which is supported by strong dialogue from the script. It looks great too, with both Argentina and Brazil looking sumptuous on screen. But where the film falls down is its lack of plot, with narrative playing second fiddle to Santiago’s stream of consciousness. And that’s fine. But nothing remarkable.
A film about a man’s cathartic X-rated rebirth following a separation, there’s a lot to see here... but less to think about. Our protagonist’s flaws run deep, but the director doesn’t quite tap into the story’s dramatic potential.
UK Release: 27th February on DVD and VOD, released by TLA Releasing