I found this film to be disappointing. It was heavy on talk and in many places difficult to follow. The title is a misnomer because the drama only covers the time period from 1901 to 1915 when Benito Mussolini hadn?t even completed his rise to political power in Italy nor his involvement with fascism. Here we see him as a struggling, passionate young man strongly espousing socialism between the ages of 17 to about 32 and the influence of his parents on shaping his beliefs and behavior. It would be interesting to watch a film sequel(s) portraying him over the next 30 years or so of his life during which time Mussolini achieved the pinnacle of his success on the world stage as a powerful dictator up to his death in 1945. As it stands this movie ends abruptly leaving the viewer frustrated and greatly annoyed.
The entire film was dubbed in English with no subtitles. It was originally done for Italian TV. The story is apparently based on bono fide historical research. There is a certain air of fatalism about it. The voice for Benito Mussolini was not that of the well-known actor Antonio Banderas, which was somewhat distracting. Otherwise, it was a very good portrayal that was interesting to watch. I learned many things about this prominent man that I did not know. For example, that Mussolini had spent time in Switzerland where he came under the influence of important Russian and other European socialist leaders in exile before turning his thoughts to a more conservative mindset. But the movie leaves many questions about Mussolini?s life, politics, and achievements still unanswered.
There is a fair amount of nudity, sexuality, and violence which need to be taken in the context of this man?s life, his travels, and the turbulent times in which he lived and rose to power in Europe. The movie was shot on location. Supporting cast gave credible performances.