Director: Gabriele Salvatores
By Stella Yanakieva
Part of the 23rd edition of the Italian Film Festival (March 11-16), hosted by the Glasgow Film Theatre, The Invisible Boy (Il Ragazzo Invisible) represents the Italian answer to superhero movies. The plot not only provides the viewers with a strong source of entertainment, but also shows a different side to the Italian cinema.
As one of the most promising contemporary Italian directors, Gabriele Salvatores, has gained the prestigious Oscar award for his movie ‘Mediterraneo’ in 1991 – a movie that explores the life of Greek islanders during the Second World War. His movies are often characterized by a strong nation of escapism, an appealing desire to run away from the problems of the modern world, and in the case of The Invisible Boy, a captivating sense of humour.
Life can be difficult for high schoolers. Michele (Ludovico Girardello), as a thirteen-year-old boy, has to face the worst aspect of high school: being bullied by the other boys. In his world, however, there seems to exist only one worry – how to capture the attention of the new girl, Stella (Noa Zatta). It happens that the upcoming Halloween party will be held in her house, so with the money given from his mother (Valeria Golino), he’s set his heart on being a superhero. But that same day Michele runs into the usual hooligans who end up stealing his money and he has no other option but to find a cheaper costume instead. After going to the party with a rather uncomfortable outfit that results in the other kids making fun of him, Michele experiences a rather embarassing and resentful night. It is one of those nights that you truly wish that you could vanish from the face of the Earth. And so he wishes that he could be invisible. What follows the morning after comes as a shocking surprise: Michele wakes up completely invisible and begins to wonder if the costume he wore was magical. As he searches for a way to go back to being visible, he realizes he can have some fun with his newly acquired ability.
Step after step, Michele begins an adventure that will lead him to discoveries beyond his imagination. He will find that inside every bully, there is a frightened kid; that every mother has inevitably made some sacrifices to make sure her children have everything they need; that being a teenager doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have the power to bring a change to the world.
The Invisible Boy, as one of the most exciting movies of 2014, deals with issues such as puberty, injustice, bullies, love, and friendship. The film brings together the magic of Harry Potter, the adventures of Marvel and the humour of Italians. One might say it is the perfect family movie, but most of all, The Invisible Boy is destined to stay in the hearts of all those who believe in magic and the power of staying true to yourself.