Friday, March 19, 2010


Gomorra is a 2008 Italian drama about the groundlevel, negative impact the mafia has on the people of Italy. Whether it’s revealing the realities of child couriers, sweat shops, toxic waste or neighborhood strangleholds, the movie attempts to show the viewer not the rich mob boss in his penthouse, but ugly effect those boss’s have on the people at the bottom of the heap. This is a fantastic idea for a story and the critics of the world seemed to love how Matteo Garrone pulled it off.
I’m gonna have to disagree. While the idea is great and the movie was well shot (I loved the cinematography approach they chose), the movie didn’t succeed with me because the scope was WAY too broad. They simply covered far too much, detailed far too many storylines and covered far too many characters. Granted, Garrone was clearly trying to give the viewer a wide angle on the problem because he feels the mob’s reach is wide. In other words, I have to show so much because they impact so much. Got it, but still, as a movie, it simply wasn’t very engaging because there was no story to get sucked into. I would’ve liked it a ton more if he had just limited his scope by a couple of the storylines. A movie just about two kids who run into trouble because they’re annoying the mob and the story about the toxic waste dumping would’ve likely been great.
For the second time in a row I’m going to suggest that a feature I watched would’ve been much better as a documentary, but it’s true both in Hunger’s case and here. The info is great and the problem of the mob is very real. Garrone’s same approach (the expansive examination) would make for a great doc, but as a feature, it’s does so much that, in the end, it does far too little.

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