Good entertainment, but lacking some emotional weight.
I've just come back from the Embarcadero Cinema up in San Francisco, where I just had a first hand screening of this film, followed by a Q&A session with Ninetto Davoli, the lead supporting actor in this film. It was a great experience altogether. Davoli loves to talk and joke, particularly about how he doesn't speak English, but does it in perfect English :-) To the film; to sum up my general feelings; I liked it. It was a pleasant work that had approached a frightening topic, but did so with warmth and charm. And perhaps this is the one real pitfall of this movie, for Davoli adds good weight to the film as a co-patient in a hospital for Fabio Volo's character, and where Fabio shows us how self centered his character is, the full emotional impact of the film is never fully realized.
There were a great number of humorous moments. Good dialog among the veteran actors, but the meatier part of the film seem to miss its mark. The audience is never allowed to explore Fabio's character to the story's satisfaction. And because of this it's difficult to know how and why the main character of the film feels the way he does when confronted with certain doom.
It may be because there's little to empathize with the main character in the first place. As a human being we can empathize with him, and to this extent, follow his tale, but we're never really part of him. The audience has a hard time identifying themselves with the main character. So when he goes through his transformation it's almost as if we're watching a complete stranger go through the same emotional throws. Our reaction; "wow, that's too bad, but so what? It happens to a lot of people." Ninetto Davoli's character helps alleviate a somewhat pale film by injecting some light human moments, and lets us share his world and feelings when we see that his own fate is even less certain than the main character's. So much so that I almost want to say that the film should have been about his character.
A nice little film that's worth a watch for couples and adult audiences. Certainly not a film for kids. If you want to see what Italian cinema is creating these days, then go see "One of Two".
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