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Angela (I) (2002)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Romance  |  30 October 2002 (Italy)
6.0
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 256 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 10 critic

True story of an attractive Sicilian mob-wife who participates in her husband's drug-dealing business and falls for her husband's lackey.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Angela
...
Masino
...
Saro
Toni Gambino ...
Santino
Erasmo Lobello ...
Mimmo
Maria Mistretta ...
Minica
Giuseppe Pettinato ...
Raffaele Santangelo
Matteo Gulino ...
Paolino
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sergio Ruffino ...
Passer-by
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Storyline

Angela, a young Sicilian woman, is married to Sato, a drug and jewel trafficker. Contrary to the custom, she is her husband's actual right-hand. One day the gang accept a new member, Masino, who looks like a Greek god. Saro often asks Masino to escort Angela and a mutual attraction develops between them. But Saro's telephone has been tapped by the police and the phone calls exchanged by Angela and Masino get recorded. The police finally decide to put an end to the actions of the gang. Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality, language, drug content and brief violence | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

30 October 2002 (Italy)  »

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1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

Rather plodding telling – 'just the facts ma'am, just the facts'
31 May 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Rosario Parlagreco (Saro) owns and runs a successful show shop in Italy with the help of his wife Angela and some other 'family'. However the shoe store is just a front for the buying and selling of large amounts of cocaine – a fact the police suspect and are monitoring with the hope of being able to make an arrest. While unaware that they are under surveillance, business continues as normal and Saro brings the young, headstrong Masino into the business to act as intelligent muscle. However Angela, tired of the life and looking for something different, falls for him and begins an affair that threatens the whole set-up.

BBC4 has become somewhat of a haven for me, showing several foreign or art films each week. At the time I saw this film I had just come off the back of a season of films from South America and I had got into the habit of them showing me films that I very much enjoyed and was grateful to have seen. For that very reason, the drabness of Angela was even more of a surprise to me coming, as it was, from a channel I had started to trust. Based on a true story that I have never heard of and am not aware of the facts of, this film takes a very basic approach to the story, telling it in an episodic fashion rather than in an adapted screenplay, dramatic fashion. This in itself is not a bad thing even if it is problematic. The scenes continually fade out and they really break up any flow – of course the bigger problem is the lack of story.

We are presented with the story as it happened and it is told as if we were reading it in a newspaper. I do not condemn the decision to shoot it in a documentary style but it just didn't work in this occasion; it would have been much better to develop a script around the facts instead. For this reason I never really got into the film and never cared about the characters – the lack of flow really damaged the film a great deal and I was surprised to find that I felt the same apathy towards Angela and the others as I had mere seconds into the film (ie I didn't grow to care about them). The direction is also pretty poor, although I can forgive it at some points as budget was a clearly a limitation. The swinging camera is meant to make it realistic I guess but this style doesn't work when the majority of the shots are close-ups, instead it is off-putting. The limits of the budget are seen in shots like the ones in cars – which are not even shot against a back-projection, just a black background (or white in one case!).

The cast aren't much cop but this is mostly the fault of the material than them. Finocchiaro gives Angela no character and cannot lift the script at all; also, for my money she isn't good-looking enough to justify the script's many references to her beauty. Pupella is poor and Di Stefano lacks any presence at all – both of them just fill the screen with nothing to work with, performances fitting the nature of the whole film.

Overall this is a fairly weak film that has little value other than the bland telling of a true story that I (and I suspect, many others) will not have heard of outside of this film. The direction is poor and the script is all over the place – totally failing to involve the audience. The episodic nature of the film just makes these problems all the more pronounced and I couldn't have cared less about the story by the time it ended. A rare misfire for BBC4's selection of films and a generally poor film.


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