Movies Reviews Matteo Garrone

Release Date: Dec. 19 (limited), Feb. 13
Director: Matteo Garrone
Writers: Roberto Saviano, Garrone, Maurizio Braucci, Ugo Chiti, Gianni Di Gregorio, Massimo Gaudioso
Cinematographer: Marco Onorato
Starring: Toni Servillo, Gianfelice Imparato, Maria Nazionale, Salvatore Cantalupo?
Studio/Run Time: IFC, 137 mins.

A bureaucracy of blood, Italian-indie style

Gomorrah’s portrait of Italy’s Camorra crime family is more a Fast Food Nation-style exposé of a teeming criminal ecosystem than a typical mob drama. Powered by several parallel plots corresponding to the family’s interests (drugs, textile manufacturing, waste disposal, weapon running, etc.), the Camorras recall a massive, barely functioning bureaucracy whose internal conflicts happen to be frequently (and efficiently) resolved with insane carnage, both emotional and bodily. There’s a mid-level manager (Gianfelice Imparato’s Don Ciro, proud to work every day in a tie), an HR department (systematically testing adolescent recruits by decking them with bulletproof vests and shooting) and plenty of corporate politics. Based on Roberto Saviano’s book, which landed Saviano under ongoing police protection, director Matteo Garrone sets the story’s visual center in beautifully tiered housing projects. Too many plots keep characters from intense development, but Gomorrah finds a sharp existential center: specifically that there is none—just bloody, endless falling dominoes.

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