Boys and girls both love to play. That said, the manner in which the passion reveals itself probably tends to diverge along gender lines. Either way, no one has to explain how sports bursts boys apart at the seams and absorbs everything else in their path. So a girl capturing the sentiment on screen – no way? I’m sorry, Way! Giselle Geney has done us boys proud and 3Feet provides an endearing voice for all those who just don’t understand.
Pamplona begins your comprehension. Now, the mountainous Columbian city may be a world away, but kids lining up to the subservience of their teachers hits home – no matter where you live. The same goes as Gonzalo (Maykol Santiago Capacho Perales) makes a late run on the attendance line with his soccer ball and doesn’t go unnoticed by the strident headmaster (Luis Enrique Yañez)
Of course, the old man is not surprised when the shine on the boy’s shoes are not up to snuff. “Dirty shoes…We will meet again at break time, Ok?”
A good boy, there’s no hint of disrespect in Gonzalo’s reply, and the lack of inflection refuses to reveal the magnitude of his disappointment. But the pained grimace on Perales’ face speaks universally to any boy who’s been sidelined by an unsympathetic adult.
Still, the games must go on, and since injustice only applies to others in any little boy land, his mates move to secure the ball. So Gonzalo takes one for the team and supplies the red and white futbol.
The games left in full view of poor Gonzalo, a quick reprieve does seem possible. But the headmaster puts the breaks on, and we feel the futility of the boy who must suppress all the urges of his being.
The stakes are then elevated in the extreme. “If you are late again for uniform inspection with dirty shoes, your football will be confiscated for the rest of the year,” the headmaster assures.
Yañez definitely ain’t playing in this role, and his command shudders the child in all of us. That leaves Gonzalo with his proverbial ‘shine box’ and shaken to his core. But the present consumes boys, and the constraints of yesterday are just too easy to put aside.
So off to school the next day, the state of his shoes don’t stand a chance. Just ask any adult who has handed a ball to a boy and asked him to just hold it. The potential drama is limitless, and the wide open, scenic countryside and maze like streets reinforce the point.
The high strung score by Fran Villalba strings us along too, and again, the subsequent pitfalls are wonderfully emoted by Perales. But all that passion pent up, the young actor’s fluid features will a solution at every turn.
Even so, the odds are stacked against him and Geney makes sure we feel the tension. Putting the drama on the clock, she cuts between Gonzalo’s travails, and the strict decorum that the headmaster demands.
‘The moment of truth’ bears down and bring us back. We are boys again, and 3Feet reminds us of the boyhood triumphs that made us the men we are today.
Thank you so much Giselle Geney.