|Index||3 reviews in total|
A tough subject, dealing with a former killer member of the Camorra, who left for Germany to build a new identity and has to come to terms, after 15 yeas, with his past, on the background of a still actual emergency in Italy, that of rubbish in Naples: a difficult subject to handle, but solidly handled. The director proceeds with a highly controlled and steady direction, made up of sequence-shots, close-ups: this, together with clear-cut and sharp characters and essential dialogues contribute to an overall solid rendering of the drama, without parting with some increasing tension. Intensity gradually increases, indeed, supported by a tense narrative rhythm, probably partly ruined by the unlikely final slackening. Toni Servillo, awarded as best actor at the latest Rome film festival, makes a substantial difference, being his main role fit for him: his performance is truly great, intense, perfectly able to render the inner drama of a man trying to overcome a painful past, which will never abandon him.
Saw it with Jet lag, just because it was playing at the right time at the small indie theater next to where I stay in Paris (and I do not know how widely released in the US). Gripping to say the least. After all the bubble gum US movies of this past summer (2011), A Quiet Life came to me as a totally amazing surprise. With no cheap thrill, very little camera effects, the plot progresses so slowly but so intensely, revealing only bit by bit, and often quite subtly and obliquely,layers and layers of deep human drama. About the mafia yes. But about bad choices that seem reversible but... about deep relationship between father(s) and son(s), about estranged brothers, about loyalty, trust, resentment, appearances and deeply ingrained feelings, protection and self protection, and all types of love. The sociological background that raises (again subtly) questions around multi language/cultural environment, border crossing, immigration adds to the already complex psychological web, although I wonder if some of it may not be lost in translation (and in subtitles)-- For me: as deeply moving as the Godfather. Yes.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Rosario Russo, an Italian chef, has made a life for himself in Germany.
He is happily married to Renate, and have a boy, Mathias, that is their
pride and joy. Always late for picking him up, Rosario, tries to be
polite even when a mortified teacher scolds him for his delayed
arrival. His solution to invite her for dinner, something that does not
sit well with the woman.
Two young Italians have been recruited to kill a man. When fire at their hotel make them leave, they show at the country inn with a restaurant run by Rosario. The chef, preparing to serve a large banquet, is not ready to see one of the guys, whom he recognizes as his own son Diego. He realizes his companion, Edoardo, is up to no good. Rosario gives them a room while he tries to investigate what the pair is doing in that part of Germany.
Rosario tails the duo to outside a factory where Diego is about to shoot his target. Rosario, coming out of his hiding place, warns Diego not to do it, but Edoardo takes the gun and kills the man in a cruel fashion. Trying to put some sense into Diego does not work. Edoardo does not take long to realize Rosario's true identity. He realizes that Rosario is in reality Antonio, the man with a violent past in Naples, being sought by the people he himself killed during his crime life.
"A Quiet Life" directed by Claudio Cupellini, is another variation on the theme of the past coming to haunt a man whose life had taken a complete change and is now an upright citizen trying to lead a good life among people that have given him an opportunity to absolve himself. The screenplay is by the director in collaboration with Guido Iculano and Filippo Gravino. The idea is not exactly new, but the execution by Claudio Cupellini, with the help of tremendous performance by one of Italy's leading actors, is interesting, keeping the viewer glued to the nonstop surprising twists in the story.
Toni Servillo, who gave a powerful performance as Giulio Andreotti in "It Divo", makes quite an impression with his Rosario, a man who reinvented himself in a different setting, but whose past came back to him with a vengeance. Mr. Servillo is a joy to watch. His range of emotions go from the happy man at the start of the film to that of a man who sees all he has built crumbles in front of his eyes. Juliane Kohler plays Renate, the German wife whose life is destroyed as well. Marco D'Amore shines as Diego, the long lost son. Francesco Di Leva is Edoardo, the loose cannon who discovers a deeply hidden secret.
Claudio Cupellini shows talent in setting this story with his impeccable execution. One looks forward to more contributions by the director in the coming years.
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