Padre Puglisi a priest from a mafia-controlled district of Paleremo, helps kids to get off the streets and in his church creates an embracing place of hope and righteousness, which means ... See full summary »
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I really like this series of DVDs. I have read all of the novels by Andrea Camilerri and I think they have done a good job of capturing the "spirit" of Montalbano: he appreciates good food, beautiful women and chasing bad guys...not necessarily in that order as his long suffering girlfriend Livia finds out when he investigates a case while telling her they are on holiday.
Not speaking Italian, I have to read the subtitles, and they have done a very good job since I don't read particularly fast and I still don't have to resort to the pause button on the DVD player all that much.
The thing that I appreciate the most is the scenery of Sicily. Camilerri's books can't give you a true sense of how beautiful it "seems". I say "seems" because I find the portrayal of daily Sicilian life a little strange: there are hardly ANY people milling about in the background of most of the exterior shots. There isn't any real car traffic either. I don't know anything about Italian cinema so I can't say how common this might be. Perhaps there are union rules which make actor "extras" too expensive. I suspect it might be an artistic choice though. It certainly makes you want to visit this imaginary Sicily though: beautiful beaches and historic ruins completely devoid of tourists in T shirts and flip flops. Also, while Camilerri's books do indicate that Montalbano's house overlooks the beach...you don't really get a sense of how unrealistic that might be until you see it on the DVD: they must pay police detectives 20 times what they pay them in real life for him to afford his "house". After you see the house, you expect his car to be a Ferrari, but, strangely, it seems pretty ordinary.
To sum up, even if you aren't a huge fan of mystery or police procedurals, you can enjoy these DVDs simply for the stunning scenery: it might be better than actually going there and coming up against the realities of modern life.
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