Currently streaming on Netflix is the Italian LGBTQ+ comedy-drama, The Invisible Thread (aka Il filo invisibile). The movie – from director Marco Simon Puccioni – stars Francesco Gheghi, Filippo Timi, and Francesco Scianna, and follows the story of 15-year-old high school student Leone, and his relationship with his two fathers, Simone and Paolo.
In the movie, Simone and Paolo have been together for 20 years, with the vast majority of this time spent raising Leone. Over the years, the trio have become one happy family, sharing many important milestones along the way.
But for the past two years, Simone has been having a secret affair – something which Paolo discovers by accident. And although Paolo is distraught by this shocking news, he initially keeps the discovery to himself, unsure of what to do.
However, the affair is soon revealed during a family anniversary dinner, leading to a huge argument, followed by a separation. The incident comes as a huge shock to everyone involved, but none more so than to Leone, who suddenly finds his world turned upside down, as his fathers go their own ways.
But the problem worsens when Simone and Paolo run a DNA test to discover which one of them is Leone’s biological father. Whoever it turns out to be, the result is sure to have significant ramifications for the family, leaving another huddle for them to face.
The Invisible Thread is an interesting and heartfelt little movie about the breakdown of a long-term relationship, and the impact this has on a family unit. In this case, that family unit involves a same-sex couple and the movie looks at both the emotional and legal complications that come with such a situation.
Although the subject matter can get a little heavy at times, as it deals with the dissolution of a marriage and the potential heartache of a paternity test, the film is filled with plenty of light touches to balance this out. There are dashes of humour here and there to take the sting out of the prickly premise, and this ensures that watching this movie is far from a depressing experience.
And to be clear, it isn’t a depressing experience at all, as The Invisible Thread is an enjoyable movie, which I enjoyed greatly. It is a movie which had me captivated from beginning to end, and I found the whole thing to be a real treat.
The Invisible Thread works so well because at the centre of the movie is a story about family bonds, which are forged irrespective of DNA. This film looks at the way in which the foundations of a family are built through love, rather than through blood, and how they can be maintained even when tested.
Despite an affair being a significant plot point in this film, The Invisible Thread isn’t just about showing how a family can be torn apart. It wants to showcase a story in which a family can be strengthened off the back of hardship, and this becomes a key factor in the narrative.
This is a movie in which it is made clear that family is very important. It doesn’t matter whether this family is the same as the one next door, it is about how it rides out a storm.
As such, while Leone is the central character of this movie, The Invisible Thread really is about the trio. They come as a tightly-knit package, and the film goes to great lengths to show that everyone matters in this relationship and this whole story is about their shared experience.
The film also makes it clear that life has its ups and downs, its frustrating little secrets, and its occasional bumps, and no family is exempt from this. Sure, there might be some additional legal baggage attached to this trio, but for all intents and purposes family turmoil is family turmoil however way you cut it, and it is the people at the heart of this drama that matter.
As noted above, what keeps this movie from falling into a deep pit of darkness is its light touch. Director Marco Simon Puccioni knows just when to lean into a little bit of humour, and this keeps things running smoothly.
The cast are also great, with Francesco Gheghi particularly strong as Leone. Gheghi is a likeable screen presence, and one who can bring just the right emotions to the screen.
All-in-all, there really is a lot to like in this movie. It captures so much, with so little, and delivers an enjoyable and touching journey.