A radio DJ gets a phone call from an old friend that changes everything. | The Lone Wolf

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The Lone Wolf is used with permission from Filipe Melo. Learn more at

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Vitor is the DJ and host of a popular radio show, where viewers call in and share their lives and opinions. Vitor is well-beloved by the members of his community, and he’s on a first-name basis with many of them, really listening to them in a warm, affable manner.

But during an episode about emotions and feelings, he gets a call from an old friend, Raul, who he hasn’t heard from in a while. But Raul isn’t calling to catch up with an old family pal. Raul has an entirely different agenda altogether, one that will upend Vitor’s life in more ways than one.

Written and directed by Filipe Melo, this Oscar-eligible short thriller opens with Vitor at the apex of his world, self-assured as a popular radio host and serenely confident in how he handles himself. The camera tracks him as he enters his domain, each movement smooth and confident, and as Vitor settles into his seat, it circles him as the nexus of focus and attention. The opening also takes time to establish how Vitor creates empathy and rapport with his viewers, taking a seemingly genuine interest and affection in the repeat callers and live-streaming his broadcast so he can keep track of online comments. They are all part of his “radio family,” and Vitor is their benevolent leader.

When Vitor’s old friend Raul calls in, Vitor has every reason to assume that Raul will fall in as a part of this warm extended community. But as the old friends catch up on air, we discover Raul has had some personal tragedies. His young son has recently killed himself, and in his letter, he has leveled some serious accusations against Vitor, which Raul repeats on air.

From this point forward, the tenor of the film shifts into a masterful, excellently wrought thriller, each development in character and plot ratcheting up the tension as the story raises questions of Vitor’s guilt or innocence. Actor Adriano Luz’s excellent performance nimbly navigates Vitor’s moral ambiguity, capturing both his avuncular demeanor but also glimmers of something else underneath. The complications come from the real-time confluence of media, as the live stream reveals the instantaneous reaction of Vitor’s viewers and listeners and the phone call from Raul calls out Vitor — and then forces him into a corner, where he must take drastic action to get out of.

Gripping and thought-provoking, “The Lone Wolf” unfurls in one remarkable continuous shot. But we don’t miss the energy and manipulations of editing cuts, thanks to the film’s remarkable, well-paced symphony of excellent writing, performance, music and ideas. These elements are all orchestrated to build to a powerful climax that grabs viewers with visceral suspense and raises questions of public accusation amid a troubling story of sexual abuse. But the elements also layer together to create a thematic and emotional complexity that rewards repeated viewing, and certain discussions from the beginning of the narrative take on weightier import. One of Vitor’s fans discusses how we try to control emotions to hide who we truly are early in the film; these words certainly haunt the film — and perhaps answer some questions — at its conclusion, as we watch Vitor deal with the wreckage of his reputation, his life and his family.

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A radio DJ gets a phone call from an old friend that changes everything. | The Lone Wolf


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  1. Not so fast people, the letter may have being invented?
    An abuser doesn't stop to 1 child?
    Next his son or more kids?
    Don't let your emotions, feeling manipulate you keep control.

  2. Not a fan of the subtitles prefer if it would be an English and not have to read the screen to understand