A criminal known as Lebanese has a dream: to conquer the underworld of Rome. To carry out this feat without precedent he puts together a ruthless and highly organized gang. Their progress ... See full summary »
Riccardo De Filippis,
The incredible true story behind the most controversial Italian court cases in recent years. Stefano Cucchi was arrested for a minor crime and mysteriously found dead during his detention. In one week's time, a family is changed forever.
A story set in the 90s and in the outskirts of Rome to Ostia, the same places of the films of Pasolini. His characters, in the '90s, seem to belong to a world that revolves around hedonism.... See full summary »
In 2011, Ostia is the subject of a giant real estate project intended to make the harbor of Ancient Rome the Las Vegas of today. But the place soon becomes a battlefield where criminals and politicians either join forces cynically or fight each other ruthlessly. The infernal showdown will last seven days, claiming many lives.Written by
This is the first time I happen to be writing the first review for a film on IMDb and it is so fitting I am doing it for a film on which I have so many thoughts to throw out there.
Finally Italian cinema has something to boast really proudly after the two slightly underwhelming years that followed the masterpiece that is "The Great Beauty", of which we will speak more later. Talking solely about cinema "Suburra" is such a great addition to the Italian canon, it takes into account everything that came before it and quotes it really respectfully, especially some of Fellini's work and even more Sorrentino's.
This film's review can be summed up in one phrase in my opinion: it takes you by the throat from frame one and never lets go until the end, gripping it slightly too hard sometimes. Now let me explain this statement with all the positives and negatives it takes into account.
Firstly, there is no denying how intense this film is. It is some of the darkest stuff I've seen in quite a while. People might contradict this, but to those I would respond that they don't actually understand what dark stuff is. We are not talking about murder, drugs or graphic violence, even though here there are aplenty. Truly dark stuff is what makes you feel dirty or dead inside, it is what makes you twitch, it is what makes you doubt your beliefs. Now that can often go hand in hand with violence etc., and it does here, but lets not forget why it works in the first place, which is because it goes deep into exploring human nature and behavior and what goes behind it. In the same way, even if not to the same extent, something like "Requiem for a Dream" uses the drug background to rip your soul apart, "Suburra" uses its story to explore themes that will not leave a smile on your face, even more so if you're Italian.
To this I might add that I felt the movie to be slightly too heavy hitting at times. It really is pessimistic, or at least that is what I caught from it. It is engaging to be offered such an interesting and passionate point of view though such a well crafted film, but honestly sometimes it was a little too much. There isn't one single element that tries to counter what is going on and because of this the result is absolute, pitch blackness. It isn't necessarily a negative element of the film, but it is one that I noted and got uncomfortable with.
It is wonderful to see a true story told this fantastically right. By that I mean that it doesn't put the emphasis on TRUE. It uses it as a background and never shoves down your throat emotional beats that feel manipulative, wrong or educational. Furthermore it tells its story perfectly, never loosing you even if you have no idea beforehand what the film is about.
Stylistically the film does have many clear inspirations and for the most part they are welcome, never being over-emphasized. I think it is impossible to make an Italian film after "The Great Beauty", especially if set in Rome, and not in anyway quote it. Sollima takes a lot, really a lot, from it but handles it really well and manages to give a truly personal stamp on the movie. Especially the opening which is a directorial triumph. With amazing photography, editing and even better use of music the director, at least for the first half of the film, manages to convey so much with actual cinema, through visual medium. He adds really a lot of subtext and makes the first hour a riveting and almost scary experience, because of what is being implied.
Talking about the second half of the film, it is where it kind of gets to caught up into its plot and forgets what it was doing so well earlier on which is the thematic aspect of what is going on. It becomes really one note and mechanic, leaving you slightly hungry for what you had been given earlier on, even though it partially picks back up in the conclusion. Don't get me wrong, it hits that one note really well, performances, characters, technical and story are all fine, but it just misses what it is about.
Still I beg you to check this film out and support good Italian cinema, you will not be disappointed to do so and will come out with quite some thoughts to stir in your head.
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