O Fantasma

Ladymol's Review

I just wanted this movie to finish.† Slow, aimless, grubby, it just went nowhere with occasional and very gratuitous exploitation of male nudity. Thereís almost no speech (and itís in Portuguese anyway) but what there is isnít worth hearing.

Yes, there are some strong male on male scenes, but hey! I do need some plot.

Perhaps it was brave of the director to make a movie about sex and garbage. But I suspect that most people, like me, would find it utterly off-putting. If the boy sniffed, tasted or licked one more piece of other peopleís trash, I was going to turn this off. As it was, I watched the last half hour on fast forward so was saved the actual living on the garbage dump.

Not worth seeing, despite the male nudityóbuy some good porn instead.

Cerisaye's Review

This Portugese film is weird and quite disturbing.† Itís about loneliness, unrequited passion and sexual obsession.† What happens when desire is one-sided.†

Sergio (Ricardo Meneses) is a young refuse collector who works nightshift.† Almost all of the movie takes place in the dark hours.† Sergio lives on the margins and has no friends or normal life. Heís got a girlfriend, Fatima, but doesnít have any real feelings for her. Sheís screwing around with their married boss.† And so is Sergio, who likes to play games.

He lavishes love on a dog, Lorde. One night Sergio and Lorde find a cop tied up in a smashed car by the roadside.† Sergio masturbates him then leaves.† A scene typical of a movie with minimal dialogue and no explanation why Sergio behaves as he does.† You must make up your own story from the bare bones of whatís presented onscreen.† Yet when Sergio spends the rest of his evening sniffing and licking his hand I got quite forgiving.

Sergio goes from one casual sexual encounter to another, fierce couplings about appeasing hunger, nothing to do with love or emotion.† These include sessions where heís dressed head-to-foot in latex.† A toilet blow job thatís the most graphic scene Iíve seen outside of porno.† Hard sex where heís taken pressed against a railing.† And an incredible masturbation sequence with a shower hose wrapped so tight round his neck it leaves a visible weal.† This is a powerfully erotic film.

Meneses is amazing.† Lean and lithe, with an expressive face and screen presence.† Heís captivating.† Probably the reason for the reputation of the film.† I kept watching mesmerised by his intensity.†

When Sergio meets Jo„o, waterpolo player and biker, he becomes totally obsessed, stalking him at the pool, picking up his old Speedos from the rubbish to wear, and even breaking into his house and urinating in his bed, signalling his descent to an animalistic state.

Jo„o doesnít know Sergio exists, so rebuffs him.† Thatís when things get weird.† Sergio dons his black rubber to roam around the city, more insect than human, totally withdrawn into obsession.† He breaks into Jo„oís house to abduct him, setting in motion an inevitable slide to disaster.† The protracted ending didnít satisfy me at all.

I know Sergio hurts just looking at him.† He wants love but casual, anonymous sex is all heís got.† No one wants to know him as a person not a quick f***, full of shame and anger.† But surely a cute guy like him could find someone if only he went looking in the right places?† His destructive fixation on the swimmer guy brings about his ruin because he doesnít know what love is and allows animal lust to consume him.† Well, thatís an interpretation.†

We know nothing about Sergioís background and have only actions to go by.† And yet, it held my attention despite these flaws.† A film about love & desire thatís properly explicit without making a fuss about it.† Pity the story is so underdeveloped Iím left scratching my head.†† See for yourself.† Worth watching for its beautiful young star.†