Stefano Sollima's neo-noir Italian political thriller is obvious in its condemnation of corruption, over-stylised, and sometimes worryingly objectifying of its lead female actress. Set in near-contemporary Rome, the plot sees a coke-snorting whore-mongering politician (Pierfrancesco Favino) cover up the murder of a prostitute with the aid of her colleague Sabrina (Giulia Gorietti). Doing so entangles him in a debt to rival gangsters trying to muscle on a real estate deal that relies on the politician rezoning some land for gambling, to be funded by the Vatican Bank. The plot is opaque, the women objectified, the use of a sideplot reminiscent of the abdication of Pope Benedict, under-explored. Worst of all some of the highly stylised tableaux set to pop hits felt like a rip off of the kind of thing Paolo Sorrentino does so well. Overall, I feel that Sollima is better suited to the long-form TV serial format he is known for with Gomorrah, and indeed the forthcoming Netflix series based on this film. I felt as though I'd seen those issues explored before and better in IL DIVO.
SUBURRA has a running time of 130 minutes and is rated 18 for strong sex, violence and drug misuse. The movie was released last year in Italy, Switzerland and France and opened earlier this year in Finland and Portugal. It's currently on release in cinemas and on demand in the UK and Ireland. It opens in Sweden on September 9th.
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