The last night of Love, review: a captivating spaghetti noir from Milan

The last night of Love, review: a captivating spaghetti noir from Milan

The last night of Love, review

After directing Escobar (2014) and The Informer (2019), Andrea Di Stefano returns to directing with an entirely Italian project, which has nothing to envy to international productions. Presented out of competition at the Berlinale 2023, Love's Last Night represents yet another attempt, this time successful, to offer a genre film to the general Italian public. The absolute protagonist is the by now chameleonic Pierfrancesco Favino, in the role of Franco Amore: policeman, devoted husband and servant of the state.

Franco Amore is said to be Love in name and in fact. Of himself he says that throughout his life he has always tried to be an honest person, a policeman who in 35 years of honorable career has never shot a man. These are in fact the words that Franco wrote in the speech he will give the day after his last night on duty. But that night will be longer and more difficult than he could have ever imagined and will endanger everything that matters to him: his job as a servant of the state, his great love for his wife Viviana, his friendship with his colleague Dino, his his own life. On that night, everything is frantically knotted in the streets of a Milan where the light never seems to arrive.


Love's last night: good in evil

The title of the film has a double meaning: it not only represents Franco Amore's last night, but also the great feeling that Franco feels for his wife Viviana (Linda Caridi), a "thoroughbred Calabrian" and a woman of fiery pragmatism. Two people who behave like a normal couple ready to argue about anything while loving each other madly. As a backdrop to their relationship, human and at times dysfunctional, there is a neon Milan that from the first shot (shot entirely by helicopter) captures the viewer's attention. The Milanese capital becomes a social substrate in which the criminal universe is well rooted and the Chinese community dominates the scene, but without ever having the desire to make a precise demarcation between good guys and bad guys. In this borderline scenario Cosimo (Antonio Gerardi) and Tito (Carlo Gallo) operate, Viviana's cousins ​​who allow Franco to round up his meager salary by employing him as a driver and security officer.

But this time Cosimo has got the nose an unrepeatable deal that concerns the Chinese community and a diamond business. The apparently simple and fast task of transporting the load from the airport to the city is entrusted to the good Franco who decides to take his colleague and close friend Dino (Francesco Di Leva) with him, unaware however that he has mixed him up in a stormy situation. The events are narrated in a flashback which then intersects with the main timeline in a homogeneous way. Because even time, within Franco Amore's last night, plays a decisive role.

Milano caliber Amore

--> The desire to wink at the 70s detective stories, set in a different formal context, is evident from the beginning of the film. The first explicit reference is Milano Calibro 9, a famous 1972 film directed by Fernando Di Leo. But in the film we also find the tensile mechanisms of Hitchock and the chases à la Michael Mann , masterfully punctuated by the cerebral soundtrack by Santi Pulvirenti (already author of the music for Bang Bang Baby ). Chases and shootings that take place inside a tunnel along the ring road, a metaphorical place that indicates the dimming of the light within Franco Amore's code of ethics. All without resorting to special effects and green screens, another advantage that shouldn't be underestimated.

The last night of Love is a film where looks are everything and each character moves like a pawn in a game of checkers . What stands out is obviously the actor's physicality of Favino, assisted by all the other actors who, from the first to the last, create an unprecedented mosaic of humanity. A further artistic value consists in having shot the film entirely on film and not digitally, making the colors and lights a functional element in the emotional story of Franco's last night. And it is precisely for this reason that The Last Night of Love deserves to be seen strictly in theaters, fully appreciating the intensity of the chromatic scale.

A brilliant social examination

--> Franco Amore has absolutely nothing of a superhero, he is not an aggressive type or a fanatic, he is a normal man who finds himself in an exceptional condition, an honest man, who throughout his existence has been faithful to himself, to his way of living the profession and also life. His compliance with the rules and his underlying correctness made him an easy target. “We chose you because we knew you wouldn't react” someone will say in a key scene of the film. A sentence that encapsulates the essence of the character, catapulting the viewer into a new narrative dimension right up to the last, ambiguous shot.

When the credits roll, one has the sensation of having witnessed an intimate film, visceral, sometimes hypnotic. Franco Amore's is a slow descent into hell of an honest man who accepts his fate, a swirling parabola within a social culture where state bureaucracy often rewards the smartest and agents don't feel repaid for their efforts. facts. Call it "spaghetti noir", call it "polar" or whatever you want, L'ultima notte di Amore represents a refined drop in the immense magnum sea of ​​homegrown productions. The film, released on March 9, is still in theaters thanks to Vision Distribution.

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