Let's rob the Duce, review: a film (almost) history

Let's rob the Duce, review: a film (almost) history

Let's rob the Duce, review

Films sometimes have the power (and the right) to brush up on even the blackest plots in human history: in 1945, Milan was really burning under bombing. This is true story. "This story, almost": this is how Let's Rob the Duce begins, directed by Renato De Maria, the latest film by the same director of La vita obscena, La prima linea and the Distrito di Polizia series. The film, released on Netflix, presents itself as a quasi-historical comedy, reconstructing real events, but filtered in a different light, subservient to the needs of a freer narrative.

It is not a film that shines for originality and much less wants to be a pale imitation of overseas productions, preferring to wink at more famous productions, such as Ocean's Twelve and Freaks Out, but deviating for its personality, given largely by the atmosphere, decidedly "dark ". Just like the years they represent.

De Maria's style is easy to recognize, accustomed as he is to detective, adrenaline-fueled and over the top stories. Starting from the plot, we intuit that the starting idea was a film dedicated to the "big shot", a plan in which a group of people joined forces for a robbery or a scam. But this was not enough and the director wanted to place everything within an exquisitely historical frame. Mussolini's treasure is a historically accurate detail: while Mussolini and Claretta Petacci were trying to flee to Switzerland, a treasure was found, nicknamed "L’oro di Dongo", named after the Lombard municipality where it was confiscated. The “Rapture” is “almost” true.

However, the fact of having chosen a story against fascism, one of the darkest parts of Italian history, is not only appreciable, but also well executed. The settings, photography and editing, in fact, are what stands out most during the film: the details in the backgrounds, both indoors and outdoors, the colors, the nuances, are subtleties that reward the film. The whole film is exaggeratedly "black": in fact, we recommend watching it in the evening, because for most of the film, the scenes are all with the lights off and play with contrasts, whispers and actions in the shadows.

The singer knows it too and Isola's girlfriend, Yvonne, Matilda De Angelis, who cannot live off extremism and must know how to adapt, or rather, survive, when there is war outside. This is why she tries to exploit in her favor the attention of the fascist hierarch Borsalino (Filippo Timi), married to Nora Cavalieri (Isabella Ferrari), a diva now in decline. To complicate the life already troubled by the factions that fold Milan, Isola discovers a message containing the coordinates on the alleged treasure of Mussolini and decides to attempt a risky enterprise, that is to rob the Duce, with the help of some unlikely accomplices, including Molotov (Alberto Astorri) and Giovanni Fabbri (Maccio Capatonda).

If the city burned ...

Outside this plot and the excellent execution, unfortunately there is very little else. If you are not passionate about history or caper movies, Rapiniamo il Duce could bore you, despite the efforts to bring out markedly Italian cinema. Because just as it was with the films of Gabriele Mainetti and the Manetti Bros., the intention behind this film is explicitly this: (re) to bring Italian auteur cinema into vogue.

It must, however, pleasure and hope to meet the benevolent gaze of those who know how to recognize entertainment even in unusual packaging. Being a genre perhaps never too segmented, between action, comedy, cinecomics, history and thefts, Rapiniamo il Duce has the thankless task of bringing a plot to the screen and not just a show. In some moments he succeeds in this intent, especially when the action dominates the dialogues, which is sometimes elongated and heavy, not allowing the characters to ever really emerge. At least you don't sing.

In that case, all praise goes to the musical arrangements, from the opening sequence by Massimo Ranieri, with Se bruciasse la città, to the covers of Paint it Black by the Rolling Stones and Amandoti by Gianna Nannini. Three songs that break the rules by which this film should have been written, talking about fascism and other horrible stories. Instead, perhaps, a great merit of this film, after all, neither good nor bad, is its strong and clear line-up: in the end, even among a few laughs in the midst of the drama and daring escapes, fascism never wins. br>

Powered by Blogger.