Gomorrah (Gomorra) Reviews
A common theme that I see in foreign crime dramas is that they ask us to keep up with too many characters in too many similar circumstances. Gomorrah also has this problem. The best characters in the movie, the wannabe gangster friends and the delivery boy, far outshine the other characters. It felt weird to even include both the tailor and the money deliverer in the movie, given that their story threads end the exact same way-they are spared amidst bloodshed because of their mob connections. Below all of these characters, the story thread about the dumping of chemicals that follows an older shrewd businessman and his young apprentice seemed even more out of place.
I do want to stress how good the wannabe gangsters were. The first scene that we meet them in is just fantastic. The scene opens on the more headstrong of the two reenacting the movie Scarface as his friend eggs him on. This sets the pace for their characters, as they continue to up the ante in terms of their hijinks, eventually stealing a weapons cache in my favorite scene in the movie.
The setting is absolutely amazing, put into life by the sweeping views of the decrepit apartment conglomerates that the characters live in. Certainly worth a watch.
The film is long, plodding, dragging, and does not tie up well together. Perhaps if they divided it into 4 or 5 separate mini stories like Reservoir Dogs, it would be easier to follow. What is most bizarre, is that the lack of clarity is not simply done for artistic device, but rather the film is not structured well.
I could easily justify the editing out of 30 minutes to make this more watchable. I hate to state this, but perhaps this film needed a touch of Hollywood editing down to a more marketable format to improve its watchability.
The characters could have been written in so that the viewer builds some empathy for their tragic ends, simply by providing a deeper back story, but instead the viewer is compelled to lack surprise or any feelings when they are murdered.
I do appreciate the earthy and realistic way this story is told, which conveys the hopelessness of the slums of southern Italy. To me, this film would be great had it been a graduate submission for a film school program.
Could I watch this film again? Never. Could I recommend it? Never.
Without the strip club and psychiatry visits, hence less humor and irony, and yet still compelling and knowingly rich in details and atmosphere, and the mundane of daily life amped up with guns and attitudes.
Not family friendly in the least, it does offer adults a straight forward view of the crass, cruel, brutal banality of mob rule.
3 armor-piercing bullets out of 5