The new trailer for director Jose Henrique Fonseca’s “Heleno,” a biopic on 1940s Brazilian soccer star Heleno de Freitas, gives us the film’s entire arc. Glamorous in black and white, with cigarettes and sunglasses on the beach in the teaser’s opening, Heleno (Rodrigo Santoro) appears near-invincible. With hardly anything in mind but “goals, little waists and Cadillacs,” he acquires all three in reckless bad boy style, alienating coaches and teammates in the process.
It is not to last. As Heleno’s devotion to the high life erodes his athletic gifts, the film’s shadows turn grim, and we watch him deteriorate in bouts of drunkenness, violence and jealousy. Though the trailer leaves us with little doubt as to the film’s shape, it remains alluring in its promise of a familiar cautionary tale that goes so often ignored.
“Heleno” comes out in New York on December 7.