Director: Mario Martone, is known in Italy for his many theatre productions and although he has been involved as a Director and Screenwriter in a number of productions, he is little known outside Italy. I know him from the wonderful film L’odore del sangue, The Sent of Blood staring Fanny Ardant and Michele Placido a grat film. I was very much looking forward to this film.
Cast : Luigi lo Cascio, Valerio Binasco, Francesca Inaudi, Guido Caprino, Felice Orsini, Toni Servillo, Luca Zingaretti and many others.
Worst moment : The white screen, it was white for a long time with only sound and shadows. It really did not work for me at all.
I understand this film was originally 3 hours 24 minutes before being cut to 2 hours and 50 minutes, it should perhaps have been shown in its full format on TV over 2 evenings. I was very disappointed and struggled throughout the film to identify the characters, as most scenes were shot with little light and often lacking focus, in fact I think 2 hours were shot in that manner leaving me with a headache from squinting and straining to make out the actors as they aged during the shooting of the film. Domenico (Luigi lo Cascio) changed for a young man with black hair, black eyebrows and black moustache to an old man with grey hair, eyebrows and beard only to play the final scenes with grey hair, jet black eyebrows and grey beard. A good understanding of Italy’s fight for unification will also be helpful. I sat next to 4 Italian film buffs, who after the first hour started to SMS on they iPhone 4’s and only one remained to the end.
Synopsis : Three young friends from the south of Italy, take on the Europe. The film is separated into 4 acts and centres on Italy’s fight for Unification. There is blood, sweat and tears, as we battle through the result of the Bourbon war, revolutions, betrayals with the resulting death by guns, mini bombs made to look like chestnuts and decapitations, blood is flowing freely throughout. It sets off in 1828, when the 3 friends join Giuseppe Mazzino (Toni Servillo) we follow their struggle, not just with the outside world but also their struggle against each other and themselves, often failing all three.
Perhaps best watched on DVD when it is released, 3 hours is a long time in a cinema seat .