Reality Review

Posted 9 years ago by myetvmedia

Reality is a 2012 Italian drama directed by Matteo Garrone, starring first time actor Aniello Arena (Luciano) and Claudia Gerini (Loredana Simioli). After winning acclaim with his 2008 crime film “Gomorrah” Garrone wanted to take a totally different direction and decided to make a comedy. But as the story developed, it became much darker than originally planned, and Garrone has expressed doubt as to whether the finished version can be described as a comedy.

Garrone’s roaming camera style draws you into Luciano’s life. He is an easy going Neapolitan fishmonger, who gets seduced by the promise of reality TV and the possibility of finding his fortune on the Italian version of Big Brother. With numerous close ups and long takes through each scene Garrone’s “Reality” is actually a reality show on it’s own. Luciano quickly turns from fishmonger and charming family man to an obsessive, paranoid reclusive, convinced that the casting team of Big Brother are testing him for selection long after the show has started. Luciano’s transformation is compelling, and it is tragically funny to watch him fall into insanity.

Aniello’s performance might well announce a new star to Italian cinema. Garrone’s patient approach to Luciano’s paranoia can feel somewhat directionless, particularly in the middle sections of the film and ultimately the film might have better suited a shorter format. But the substance is very good and Garrone’s “Reality” strikes the right notes. Recommended.

Christophe Chanel

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