|Index||6 reviews in total|
12 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
great actors at work on a very depressing topic, 30 September 2012
Author: Iwould from Italy
One of the things I have read more frequently about this movie is that,
since it talks about the TV program "Big Brother", which in Italy has
already reached the 12th season, it's supposed to be a decade late.
Well: it's not, as the "Reality" mentioned in the title is obviously
not the one of the TV-genre, but the actual one of nowadays Italy.
As Woody Allen wrote once, "life doesn't imitates art: imitates bad television". Following this line, the first scene is by far the more "fantastic" of the whole movie: we see an incredibly rich marriage ceremony, and we are not on TV or in any other fiction, but we are supposed to be in the real world - even if the settings and the outfits looks like a David LaChappelle picture. But later, when the guests go back to their homes, we see how theirs everyday "Reality" is made of poor dirty houses, impossibly crowded interiors, daily struggles and tricks to arrange a living. All places depicted completely lack any sign of awareness or responsible living in the world: newspapers doesn't exist, books are never read or shown, Internet is never searched and receipts during commercial transactions are never issued. In this wasteland of culture and decency, feelings still grows. We can see that the main character still genuinely loves and care for his wife and kids, and he could be called, in his own way, a good family man. But disaster suddenly happens when his set of values proves to be not enough to properly relate with the ghosts of fame and success.
This "Bigbrother" thing, when it was introduced in Italy had some cultural appeal, and for some months represented something worthy to talk about. But it has quickly evolved in a tire and sad repetition of the same situations, that seems to aim at a lower target every further year: and after more than 10 years of lowering, now it doesn't have audiences anymore, but victims. This movie will show you how one of those victims undergoes his own sacrifice. So, be prepared: it can't be anything else than a very sad story highlighted anyhow by some great actor performances.
5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Reality: Not about reality TV, 27 September 2012
Author: AmericanFilmTheory from Egypt
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
** Contains Major Spoilers, including a discussion of the ending of the
film** When asked about what he was trying to say with Faust, Goethe
replied that what he wanted to say was what's he'd written in the play.
If he'd wanted to say something else, he added, he would have written
Matteo Garrone, of Gomorrah fame, is going for much the same answer about his latest work, Reality. I just saw the movie and the director himself at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, where Garrone stepped on stage after the screening to take a few questions.
It was an entertaining back-and-forth between an audience gushing with praise and a visibly pleased but disarmingly unpretentious director. When asked to elaborate on the film's enigmatic ending, though, Garrone politely declined, saying that he'd rather leave it open to interpretation, and was more interested in what the audience thought.
So, here's my take. At the end of the movie, the main character Luciano, a Neapolitan fishmonger who auditioned for Grande Fratello (Italy's Big Brother) but never heard back, sneaks onto the set of the show in Cinecitta. None of the Big Brother contestants, who are splashing around in the pool, seem to notice him. Luciano, seemingly mesmerized by the giggling bunch, takes a seat on a sunbed in a courtyard nearbyand suddenly he can't stop laughing. The final shot zooms out, beginning with Luciano giggling all by himself and eventually encompassing all of Rome.
What does the uncontrollable giggle mean? Has Luciano lost his mind? That's a very real possibility. On the other hand, as Garrone pointed out to me when chatted briefly after the screening, he also may be laughing because he's finally wonafter all, he is finally in "The House." But what kind of victory is that? I think we're supposed to compare the final scene with the first. The film opens with a panoramic shot of Naples in full daylight with Vesuvius and the Bay as a backdrop. Then the camera slowly zooms in on the odd spectacle of a gilded horse-drawn carriage. The carriage arrives at a sort of villa, where a staff dressed in what appears to be 18th century costumes opens to door for the passengers, a tacky bride and groom.
Both the opening and closing scenes revolve around some kind of fantasy, but one zooms in while the other zooms out. The colors are important here. The opening shots are strikingly colorful and bright, while the final shot is almost black and white, being shot at night and starting from the minimalist courtyard with its stylized white-backlit lounge chairs. The opening is crowded with family and friends, and in the end, Luciano is alone. The opening represents fantasy within the bounds of reality, while reality TV is fantasy beyond these boundaries.
By the end of the movie, Luciano has lost sight of what is most important: his family. It is true that his life as a fishmonger and scam artist is far from idyllic, but there is undoubtedly something valuable in the role he plays in his own small community. He is already a star to his relatives and friends, as we see from his comic performance at a family wedding at the beginning of the movie.
see the rest of this: americanfilmtheory.com
7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Reality, 17 July 2012
Author: junkielee from Rome
I'm not afraid to admit that I actually prefer this film to Garrone's
previous characters-melange crime-drama GOMORRAH (2008, a 7/10), albeit
both won Cannes's Grand Prize of the Jury in their respective years.
I watched the film in KVIFF a few days ago, and I am thrilling to see that there is a change of attitude in detailing a riveting story of Naples people's mundane life, about a reality-show sparks a never-be-quenched yearning of a Naples fishmonger's pipe dream of becoming a reality-star, which turns him paranoid about his surroundings and mars his and his family's life, and all winds up in an ambiguous ending.
REALITY has a drastic alternation in its visual impetus, a Fellini-esque Napoli milieu (with the mammoth structure of kins under a dilapidated tableaux), which could instantly gain some positive impression from the film's opening sequence, which induces a tremendously lush wedding ceremony. A comical tone has never ceased to hover around the typical but accurate portrayal of the workaday life of our protagonist and his family (a hanky-panky retail business of pasta-making robots is the highlight) until the latter part when everyone on screen and offscreen realize the one-sided opportunity will never arrive except for our leading man in the film, so literally how miserable his ending would be has grown into the main concern hanging the film's weight. And there would be a great chance it would plunge into an irreversible maw of tragedy, but luckily it doesn't, Garrone alters a lightly grotesque route and resorts to a more theatrical maneuver to leave the finale in a spell bound shot, effectively ridicules and bashes the reality-show oriented credo in the present-time.
The gorgeous score from extraordinarily talented composer Alexandre Desplat is another selling point, seamlessly goes with the plot, and thwarts a likely bathos when the soothing comedic temper is steadily mitigated and the film veers to a suspicious restlessness and ultimately the irrational madness.
The cast is plainly spot-on in spite of Aniello Arena's over-handsome and beefcake image as a fishmonger, Raffaele Ferrante's rendering of a reality-star who originally rose from the mass, is both hilarious and sarcastic in stressing the ill-infused celebrity-rules notion, which is indubitably not the only entrance to fame and fortune for those wide-eyed dreamers.
An Entertaining Satire, 1 April 2013
Author: georgep53 from Boston, MA
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A horse driven coach beautifully adorned and accompanied by elegantly
dressed coachmen makes its way to a wedding ceremony while the grubby
business of daily life goes on around it. One can almost imagine the
clock striking midnight and the coach reverting back into a pumpkin
while the horses & coachmen become mice. Like the folks sitting in the
coach we crave our escapist fantasies even though we know that when we
wake up in the morning the world will still be the same old place. But
what happens when a man becomes so desirous of fame & fortune that the
real world seems fake and the dream world becomes reality? That forms
the basis of Matteo Garrone's Cannes Film Festival 2012 Grand Prix
winner--"Reality" a wonderfully entertaining comedy-drama starring
Aniello Arena as Luciano a fishmonger who lives a quiet middle class
life with his wife and children. His wife, Maria, played by Loredana
Simioli works as a marketer for a dubious new device called the "Robot"
which promises to revolutionize work in the kitchen. Arena's friend and
employee Michele (Nando Paone)is devoted to religious iconography and
can't seem to stop making the sign of the cross while attending church.
After Luciano is persuaded one day to audition for the Italian version
of "Big Brother" his determination to join the cast becomes the pivotal
objective of his life so much so that his friends begin to worry that
he may be losing his mind.
In "Reality" Garrone masterfully satirizes a world governed by superstition, consumerism and the ultimate hallucinogen-----television. Reality television is no more real than anything else on the tube. It's like sitting in a carriage that will turn into a pumpkin when the cameras stop rolling. Aniello Arena and Loredana Simioli are perfect as Luciano and his suffering wife. "Reality" vacillates between the poignant and the absurdly funny.
Reality Bites, 27 March 2013
Author: Blayne Alexander from Los Angeles
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Reality is a wonderfully drawn film that showcases the obsessive
behavior of a guy destined (in his own mind) to take the prize on
Italy's 'Big Brother.' Not a new premise by any stretch, and always
difficult to watch. He basically throws his life, the life of his
family, and his own sanity out the window for a stupid reality TV show,
before needing the proper motivation to fight his way back.
That being said it is a story of flawed characters. Of which we are all. So I tried very hard to get over my general distaste of the main character's actions and maneuvers to enjoy the story that was being told.
Direction and cinematography are top notch. Simply exquisite. The non stop sweeping camera made my knees weak at times...and I simply loved the title treatment at the end of the film. Probably even gained it another star simply because it made me smile on my way out the door.
But when all is said and done we find our characters, and in many ways ourselves, left exactly as we were to begin with, nothing learned, nothing lost, and definitely nothing ultimately gained.
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Loss of reality, 26 March 2013
Author: cinematic_aficionado (email@example.com) from London, England
Reality is a fitting title about a man who totally lost it (his own
sense of reality).
Part satire, part a comic-tragic portrait of our world with its vanities our hero is just an everyday guy who is a fishmonger, and like many others has a souse, children with all that goes with it.
His world is shaken when following a brief performance in a wedding reception he becomes acquainted with a celebrity and the desire is born in him that he can be part of this world, the world of stardom, wealth and recognition.
So by making use of this brief acquaintance he enters a competition to join big brother and does so in the certainty it will be his passport to fame and fortune. The contact with fame though ludicrously brief it is enough to cause him a great deal of harm.
The harm came in the form of obsessive behaviour, paranoia and hallucination causing a loss of his own self awareness and disregard for all those around him.
A charmer of a movie about vanity, obsession and a surrounding culture that feeds us these kind of fake feelings and desires.
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