La Kryptonite Nella Borsa (Kryptonite!)

Posted 11 years ago by myetvmedia


An enchanting love story, La Kryptonite Nella Borsa (Kryptonite!)is a powerful tale about a boy, a family, and a superhero. As meaningful as it is creative, the film captures the essence of mature topics through the delightfully comedic lens of childhood. First time director Ivan Cotroneo (I Am Love) captures a whimsical spirit akin to that of Amélie, utilizing a similar structure of character development for the young Peppino (Luigi Catani). Highly entertaining, the film’s one shortfall is in the emotional translation between the characters and the audience.

Peppino lives in a tough world. His father is unfaithful to his mother, who is resultantly bedridden with depression; he is bullied at school, and his older cousin Gennaro (Vincenzo Nemolato) has died. True to a 70’s period piece, Peppino’s aunt and uncle frequent hippie parties and feminist gatherings taking Peppino with them, where he is exposed to LSD, sex, and everything in between. Emerging with a newfound appreciation for The Age of Aquarius and the tenet “we must not be ashamed of our bodies”, Peppino doesn’t let his spirit get down when he is challenged by the strange world around him.  Through Peppino’s adventures, he is visited by the spirit of Gennaro, who fashions himself to be the Italian Superman (not quite as strange as the Italian Spiderman but close).

Everything about this film is on the mark, however I found myself yearning for a suggestion of a little more emotional tension. The only character I really felt anything for was Peppino. We spend the most time with him and the pacing of his development is a little more natural. Cotroneo is clearly an extremely talented director with a very distinct and interesting style- perhaps limiting in a story with so many characters and only 98 minutes to capture it all- but well executed nonetheless.

The tunes of David Bowie, Iggy Pop, and Mina coupled with the spot on costume design complete the genuine feel of the film. Achieving the perfect balance between classic Italian culture and the radical emergent values of the 70s, Kryptonite! is a gem in the world of Italian contemporary cinema. In addition to the eight and a half stars, I will simply say see this film and keep your eyes peeled for Cotroneo’s big future.

La Kryptonite Nella Borsa (Kryptonite!) is the directorial debut for director Ivan Cotroneo who is the screenwriter for the highly acclaimed I Am Love. He will be present at the North American premiere at the inaugural Italian Contemporary Film Festival, ICFF, in Toronto, Canada at the TIFF Bell Lightbox  on June 26th. Look for our upcoming interview next.


Isabella Romano



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