HARD PAINT hits deep
HARD PAINT is a troubling snapshot of youth today. Pedro – in a bold performance by Shico Menegat – is a young man who caused a serious injury when he fought back when bullied. His only relative is a sister moves far away as the film begins. He has dropped out of college, does not have a job, and does not seem like he can live on his own. But like so many do these days – hell, www,onlyfans.com - he turns to the internet to make bank.
As Mama Rose said ‘you gotta get a gimmick’, and Pedro uses neon paint when doing his late night ‘performance pieces’ for paying audiences. At least there is a connection and haven there, alone in his room. When he learns that CameraBoy25 (a dynamic Bruno Fernandes) has watched and copied his technique, Pedro begins a quest.
What follows is an intriguing meeting of rivals becoming friends, and an emerging partnership. It is sexy, dangerous, and ultimately loving. When the two men get jumped again, Eric is impressed that Pedro knows how to fight back.
Filipe Matzembacher and Marcio Reolon share both the directing and screenwriting credits, and their unflinching approach gives HARD PAINT both a brilliant sheen and ugly underbelly. There is plenty of sex and nudity, as befits most European films of this like.
A visual that I appreciated was a recurring image of people looking down from their balconies, squinting to see the life happening beneath them on the street, but never getting involved.
HARD PAINT won’t be for everyone, but if you too like to watch, you will find it on the Tubi and Mubi streaming sites.