Il Divo (2008)

DVD Cover (MPI Home Video)
Paolo Sorrentino Paolo Sorrentino
Toni Servillo Toni Servillo
Anna Bonaiuto Anna Bonaiuto
Giulio Bosetti Giulio Bosetti
Flavio Bucci Flavio Bucci
Carlo Buccirosso Carlo Buccirosso

7.3 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Genres: Biopic (Feature), Drama, Political Drama
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Review by bluemeanie
Added: December 25, 2009
Wow. Hope you've got your reading glasses. Never before have I seen a film that relies so heavily on the written word to convey its message. Aside from the English subtitles, we are handed maybe a hundred or more placards explaining both who individuals are and what they do. We're handed dates and locations very quickly and expected to remember them for the duration of the pictures; because, if you don't -- you might not know what in the hell is going on. Luckily, I was alert, paid attention and was able to absorb most of what I was seeing. But, you have to have a quick mind, good memory and a whole lot of caffeine.

Unless you live in Italy, you've probably never heard of Giulio Andreotti (Toni Servillo). He served in the Italian parliament for over 45-years and was responsible or co-responsible for every major event to happen in the country since his initial election. He was corrupt. He was emotionless. He was ruthless. We are never told for certain that he had Mafia ties, but we have a pretty good idea that he did. Most of this film chronicles his idea to run for President of the Republic, and the deep regret that he feels towards a Christian Democrat who was murdered years before, his party doing nothing to stop it. The ending of the film deals with Italian officials attempting to jail Andreotti for what they feel to be crimes against Italy. And it ends with Andreotti being acquitted of all charges, which is exactly how you expect it should end.

As a character study, Andreotti is fascinating. Here's a man who serves in parliament, was declared Senator for Life -- arguably, the most powerful man in Italy. No one wants to cross him because they are afraid of what might happen to them; rightfully so. Throughout the film we're given numerous 'hits' and 'accidental deaths' that are all perceived to be, in some way, the work of Andreotti. Imagine if Democrats and Republicans in this country operated in such a fashion? There would be none of them left. But, we also see that Andreotti is, indeed, human. He feels bad for what happened to his colleague years before. He obviously has affection for his wife. And, though he tries to hide it, he has affection for the friends around him -- to some extent.

Visually, "Il Divo" is one of the most stunning films of the year. The cinematography of Luca Bigazzi is nothing short of jaw-dropping, and this director understands lighting and camera placement. You never see Andreotti for the first time in a scene without thinking -- "Wow, what a shot." The music is all over the place, ranging from contemporary rock to Italian opera to original pieces by Teho Teardo. The first 10-minutes of this film feel like a Quentin Tarantino film in a lot of respects and the camerawork and music help add to that.

Do I recommend this film? Yes and no. I recommend it to all cinephiles because I think there is something just masterful about the execution of this picture. However, if you're easily distracted and don't want to read for two hours, you might want to skip this one. I also don't know how interested most people will be in the story of an Italian politician. But, for all the reasons mentioned above -- see this movie. 8/10.
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BuryMeAlive #1: BuryMeAlive - added 12/27/2009, 03:03 PM
So this is not a concert DVD with the vocal group?
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