Il Padre e lo straniero, The Father and the Foreigner.

by Marianne Wi

So very exciting to see a film without a hint of comedy, Italy is churning out comedies as if the Italian cinema industry depended on them, we are mid February yet two local cinemas are still opening their doors daily to Xmas movies about Santa Gangs and a Xmas in South Africa.

The Father and the Foreigner is not a comedy, small mercies it is drama before turning thriller, it is already doing its rounds at the International Festivals and is now released nationwide here in  Italy.

Director: Ricky Tognazzi   is a prolific Actor and Director , well known here in Italy less so abroad. He comes from famous Italian Cinema stock his father being Ugo who in his time acted in over 70 films .

Cast: Alessandro Gassman, Amr Waked, Ksenia Rappoport, Leo Guillotta, Nadine Labaki, Emanuele Salce, Leonardo Della Bianca, Ilary Branco

 

Best Moment: Both shower scenes…..

Synopsis: A touching story about friendship between two fathers from very different cultures, both have handicapped sons, it turns into a not very believable spy combo halfway through though, never quite believable and a real struggling to keep engaged with. Gassman is appearing in most shots , often wearing very little ladies, just thought I would mention it, as he is rather gorgeous in a sort of Italiano stallion way.

Diego (Alessandro Gassman) is living in Rome with his Russian wife (Ksenia Rappoport) they have a handicapped son together. Diego has never really accepted Giacomino’s illness and is deeply tormented by his inability to love his offspring.

At the rehabilitation Centre where Giacomino (Diego’s son) attends for daily therapy, Diego meets Walid (Amr Waked), a very rich Arab businessman, who also has a severely handicapped son. They strike up a warm and deep friendship despite their many cultural and traditional differences. Walid philosophy “the destination is the destiny,” has a huge positive impact on Diego, who tries to re-kindle the love and passion he once had for his dishevelled wife ,whose love for their son has never faulted.

I really wanted to explore these two diverse characters deeper and was enjoying the film, I felt more than a little miffed, when I suddenly had to deal with Syria, terrorism, Belly dancers, the secret service and missing persons.

Walid disappears, and our spy story begins. Not wanting to be accused of giving the game away I will leave you to make up your own mind on this thriller finish.

 

This photo of Alessandro Gassman is not from the film,I just could not resist.  Italian Stallion or Gay Icon, who cares…. just  let me have pins like that in my next life  !

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