Mini Review Forever: Gomorrah

This is a mini review, because I’m stumped as to how I’d categorise this film. It’s clearly not underrated (award winning, big following etc), certainly not schlock and it’s too late for the lists. So, I’m left with a mini review.

Where: Once again, at home.

What is it then? Gomorrah has been hailed as the Italian City of God. It isn’t- it hasn’t the scope of City of God for one thing. Instead Matteo Garrone’s 2008 film, based on  Roberto Saviano’s epic account of the Camorra in Naples, arguably the most corrupt and bloodthirsty branch of the mafia, is a grim and unrelenting look at the misery of organised crime in Southern Italy. Naples, by the way, is a complete shithole looking at this.

Worth watching? Well, it’s multi-stranded, and follows 5 main stories. It’s also gritty as all hell. In all honesty, when I was watching it I thought no, but the postscript to the film bought the prior proceedings sharply into focus and I was left thinking “fuck”. It’s certainly worth a watch.

So it’s great then? I didn’t say that. It’s very good, and it’s certainly brutal, but it isn’t a 4 chang film.

Well, what’s wrong with it then? After the opening (which is superb), I didn’t give a fuck about 2 of the 5 strands. When the postscript comes in, and the explanation is given, it makes sense, but while watching it, I was thinking “I don’t give a fuck about you, dressmaker cunt, get back to the two scrotes.”

Anything else: If there’s one word I would use to describe Gomorrah, then it would be “sparse”. It’s shot on mostly hand held, and there’s very little background music. The acting is minimalistic (which makes sense given the subject matter) and as a rule quite good- particularly the lad playing Toto.

Overall: Good fucking film, but only in context. Without the postscript (which is vital), then it would be OK, but the rest of it doesn’t live up to the brutal and outstanding opening. However, I believe that Gomorrah becomes essential viewing with the postscript.

Rating: 3 Changs. A very good film.

Final thought: This isn’t a work of fiction per se, rather Gomorrah is a Docu-drama. Or a Dramentory. One of them anyhow. I can’t think of another way to describe it. It’s also very depressing stuff.

Until next time,

Jarv

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About Jarv

Workshy cynic, given to posting reams of nonsense on the internet and watching films that have inexplicably got a piss poor reputation.

29 responses to “Mini Review Forever: Gomorrah”

  1. Jarv says :

    Heh.

    I need something terrible for the next mini-review as it’s got to be titled “Mini Review and Robin”.

  2. Tom_Bando says :

    Oh that’s easy. Clooney as Bats!! w/ Ahnold. You’ll thank me.

  3. Tom_Bando says :

    How shakey-cam is this? Bourne level? I hate that stuff.

  4. xiphos0311 says :

    I haven’t been to Naples in a real long time but I remember it being real shitty.

    • Jarv says :

      I haven’t been in nearly 20 years, and looking at it based on this film- it’s a fucking giant toilet.

      There’s a really depressing bit where a farmer on his death bed is selling off bits of his land to the Camarro to sell for toxic waste dumps- it’s already been established that they mix the most toxic shit in with biodegradables and then dump it on the land as “compost”. The old woman working the peach orchard gives the mafia douchebag a load of peaches off the land, and they’re fucking poisonous and they stink.

      Depressing.

  5. Continentalop says :

    You ever see any Poliziotteschi films Jarv?

    • Jarv says :

      I have, years ago, but don’t remember them. I loaded the Lovefilm list with some, so will be catching that up in the near future.

      • Continentalop says :

        I was going to suggest Fernando Di Leo’s Milieu Trilogy: Milano calibro 9, La mala ordina, and Il Boss. They are all pretty kick-ass, and you could almost consider them schlock (I don’t think so though – they are just damn good exploitation movies IMO).

      • Jarv says :

        Nowt wrong with a good exploitation film.

      • koutchboom says :

        Here’s a fun question, what’s the difference between exploitation films and TP films?

      • Jarv says :

        TP is no doubt exploitative, but the film only exists to show the torture, whereas in many exploitation films the subject matter may be extreme or sleazy or whatever, but the narrative doesn’t exist to serve it. That isn’t very clear. Sorry.

      • koutchboom says :

        I get what you are saying, but if you think about the worst exploitative film (Thundercrack) and it is certainly just as bad as TP. If anything TP is sort of a sub genre of exploitative film.

      • Jarv says :

        No doubt at all. TP by definition is exploitative, and I would rather watch, say, Hostel, than Thundercrack! (which is actually sexploitation, another subgenre).

      • Continentalop says :

        I would seriously prefer watching Thundercrack! over Babel. Thundercrack! is at least like a geek-show, something that will at least amaze you in your disgust – Babel just fucking bores you with pretentiousness.

      • M. Blitz says :

        The trailer for Babel alone was enough to convince me to never ever see that movie…..Looked INCREDIBLY fucking annoying.

  6. koutchboom says :

    Naples, by the way, is a complete shithole looking at this.

    Well mainly Pinetamare Italy. Yeah that place is a shithole, they never really show Naples in the movie.

    There are some really pretty aspects to the area though like Lago D’Averno (aka Entrance to Hell).

  7. Droid says :

    Another film I need to watch when the World Cup ends.

  8. Stuntcock Mike says :

    I still haven’t seen this fucking movie.

    It’s on the list.

  9. Tom_Bando says :

    I hoping the Japanese remake this w/ their big Turtle…yes you knew it was coming…

    GAMMERAH. A bit of Yakuza action for our fave rocket propelled frisbee flyin’ turtle. Yessir.

  10. M. Blitz says :

    I badly want to see this….Probably not a great idea for a movie to compare itself to City of God, though. Way to set up too-high expectations, movie-marketing folks…

    Need to see City of God again actually. Haven’t seen it since ’03? Maybe ’04?

    • koutchboom says :

      It’s not so much City of God in style of movie, just in terms of point of the movie. In that it shows you realities of gangs of a country.

  11. M. Blitz says :

    Which is better: Gomorrah or Un prophet? Or are they not really readily comparable…

    • koutchboom says :

      Ehhh not really comparable. Un is just about one man and how prison shapes him. Gomorrah is about how the mob controls everything in Naples. Plus its got like 4 stories line (they don’t all connect or anything at the end) going at once, and it is more of a naturalistic approach to the subject. Un is more of a story, that could be entirely made up with hints of truths about prison thrown in there. Gomorrah is based on real stories.

  12. ThereWolf says :

    Saw the trailer some time ago, think it was on Twitch. Made a note of it in me notebook – I’ve got it open in front of me now. I scribbled: ‘Gomorrah – looks grim but good, don’t know if I’ll watch it though.’

    I’m more likely to now. Cheers.

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