Director: Bruno Garotti

Cast: Klara Castanho, Gabriel Lima, Marcus Bessa, Júlia Gomes, Fernanda Concon, Lucca Picon, Rosane Gofman, Stepan Nercessian

Genre: Teen comedy

Country/Language: Brazil/Portuguese

Duration: 1 hr 32 min

Rating: 13+

‘Confessions of an Invisible Girl’ is the new teen comedy from Netflix. The highschool rom-com is a Brazilian production with Portuguese language and is adapted from author Thalita Rebouças’s best selling fiction novel, ‘Confissões de uma Garota Excluída, Mal-amada e (Um Pouco) Dramática’. 

The movie follows an awkward and lonely teenager named Tetê (played by Klara Castanho) who moves to a new high school by the beautiful beaches. She has a syndrome that causes her to intensely sweat when nervous. Added to her unwaxed, unglamorous appearance, Tete has always been cast aside by her peers. In her new school, our heroine wants to change everything. She needs to climb that super-important high school social ladder. Step 1: make friends. Tetê instantly clicks with Davi (played by the sweetly charming Gabriel Lima) and the spunky Zecca (Marcus Bessa) who bring light and colour into her life. But things get swiftly complicated for the teen when she falls hard for a popular boy, and his jealous girlfriend Valentina (Júlia Gomes) swoops into the scene. 

In spite of the teen’s loneliness and struggles with fitting in, ‘Confessions’ is far from a weepy tale. In fact, young Tetê comes from a busy household where doting parents and grandparents are emotionally invested in the girl’s life. The comedy is sweet and breezy, light and gentle. It also has some genuinely funny moments. The picture’s brightest assets are the young actors Castanho, Lima and Bessa, who are bubbly, kind-hearted and innocent youngsters who, in spite of what high school dogma dictates, remain true to themselves. But there is a scene where Tetê undergoes intense waxing for a party, something that her guy friends don’t undergo. It is passed as a comic moment but one hopes that young girls don’t leave this with the idea that waxing arms and legs is an indicator of beauty, whether inner or outer.

Eventually, the film wraps up fast and concludes easily, almost as if the filmmakers realized that they were running behind time so they immediately start wrapping up. The climax leaves us confused with questions: is it that easy? Should enemies just sort out their matters by saying sorry and singing “Kumbaya”? The kids here seem to think so. The script gets a bit lazy here as expositional dialogues abound. 

The coming-of-age movie often feels idealistic, believing in the infinite goodness of people young and old. It’s a great way to show a picture of how things ought to be but far from how they actually are. I just wish it took a more careful and steady path to reach the positive ending. 

‘Confessions of an Invisible Girl’ is now streaming on Netflix.

Also read | ‘Mukhosh’: A worthy remake propelled by breakneck pacing, solid acting

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