In Hard Paint we follow Pedro, a shy and socially awkward young man. Pedro has no friends and, with his sister recently moving out to another part of the city, he has no family nearby either. To top this off, he now has to pay the rent on his home entirely alone and must pay the fine that was given due to the noise made at his sister’s moving party.
However, he finds himself an escape from this life by uploading erotic videos onto a gay website. Here, under the name of Neonboy, he strips down and covers himself in neon body paint.
Made in and set in Brazil, what we have is a film that will appeal to a good deal of people. Especially those in the LGBTQ community. Before I go further into the film, I will say that I am glad that we are getting more films for the LGBTQ. Respect for this community has come a long way in my lifetime and I am happy with how far we have come.
That being said, a lot of these LGBTQ films I find to be unfortunately boring. And sadly, Hard Paint was not one to break this trend.
While I have no complaints to the acting, which is handled very well. Everyone feels natural. Like the sets they are in, the characters feel real and lived in. Like there’s a past to it all, even if we are not told it. I also think that some of the uses of body paint is very well used. It’s a fantastic mix of beautiful and sleezy, and on top of that it is essential to the plot. But as good as these are the film still fell flat.
My main issue is the camera work, which was just flat. Every shot felt very basic. There are moments that felt like the quieter moments in the Star Wars Prequels – it’s just showing us what we need to see without much style to it. I was fine looking at the scenes with the body paint because otherwise it’s one of the greyest films I’ve seen in a while.
I have a feeling that the filmmakers were relying on the provocative nature of the film to affect the audience more. I am sure that this will do the trick for many. For me, it wasn’t as provocative as it thought it was. The homosexuality wasn’t as sweet or taboo as other films before it – or done in the ways of such films as Love Simon or Spetters. And the exotic videos aren’t as provocative as such films as Basic Instinct.
I couldn’t get into Hard Paint. For me it was too dull and just didn’t break any new ground. The online and body paint aspects to it were intriguing and visually nice to look at. But beyond that, it is nothing special. I’ve certainly seen worse and it’s nicer to see something like this over something that was clearly made by a committee.
If you feel like this film may connect to you, then it will be worth the watch as it’s subject is touchy and will hit home with a lot of people in the end.
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