Arts & Entertainment


Both the setting and plot of this film are grim and strangely fascinating.

Loosely based on true events, Matteo Garrone’s much-acclaimed film tells the story of Marcello (Marcello Fonte), a diminutive, awkward, divorced father who runs a dog grooming salon. He lives and works in a ruined town that looks like it was hit by a tsunami that dragged all life and colour out to sea. His friends include other shopkeepers and residents. Marcello is comical, seemingly innocent, doting over his young daughter, yet he is also a coke dealer. The town is terrorised by a gargantuan bully named Simone (Edoardo Pesce). Simone is a coke addict and favours Marcello, his supplier, but only as long as Marcello is utterly compliant. Things, of course, go awry.

The film is gloomy, visually and narratively, yet there are moments of genuine humour and warmth. It’s tense and graphically brutal and refreshingly original.

★★★ ½


Reviewed by Rita Bratovich

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