Matteo Garrone’s Italian film Gomorrah is a rare composite of realistic screen depiction of the mafia ever made. We all know that the organized crime has long been a favourite topic of cinema ever since 1930s, attributes the reflection of dark, seductive and self-indulgent side of greed, glamour, gluttony, gawky and dented by the binding moral ending where the gangsters are either brought to justice or meet a violent demise. After this movie’s release in 2008, some of the real life Italian mafia connection have been investigated and arrested
We have seen the fascination of Italian gangsters in the contemporary popular context with the films as Godfather series, Untouchables, Good fellas, Sopranos, in those flattering texts of the vicious reality and criminal outlook and lifestyle. Nonetheless, nothing has come close to the frank interpretation of Italian organized crime presented in Gomorrah, that is based on the book by Roberto Saviano and made in a very Neapolitan-language, spoken in the southern Italian region, comprises the city of Naples and Caserta, where the traditional crime syndicate are centered. Looking at the mere statistics, the illegal business estimate turnover of 100 billion euros global, besides guilty for 4000 deaths, equate to any other criminal organization or terrorist group in last thirty years
The movie revolves around five interweaving stories. The first of it is a story of a timid middleman Don Ciro, a moneylender to the families of imprisoned Di Lauro clan members. When the feud develops within the clan, he is trapped by a pair of angry Secondigliano scissionisti during a delivery. Fearing for his life, he later offers to defect to their side, but being refused his offer and tell him to sell some of his former associates as a deal to save his life. He leads them to the location where he is given the money for distribution. The pair raids the place, killing everyone but Ciro, and takes the money. Ciro quietly walks off to an uncertain future.
The next story is about Toto, a 13-year-old grocery delivery boy who watches few drug dealers abandon a bag of drugs and a gun, although evading the police at Sette palazzo, returns the items to the gang, as he is observed as part of them. His induction in an underground cavern consists of him being shot wearing a bulletproof vest as a test of courage. In the intense feud amid clans, the loyalties are suspected and are ordered to move out or be the threat of violence. The same agonized moment follows to Toto’s fellow gang member and is killed in a drive-by. The other gang members decide to stand their ground and exact violent retribution by selecting a woman, Maria, as their next victim, as her son has joined a clan of Secondigliano scissionisti. Toto, who has delivered groceries to Maria, is forced to bait her out of her apartment, where his comrades execute her
The third story is about haute couture tailor Pasquale, who works for Lavarone, a garment factory owner with ties to the Camorra. Pasquale takes a night-job training Chinese garment workers, who are competing with Camorra-controlled firms, the Chinese drive him to and from work in the trunk of their car. His secret work is discovered nonetheless, and his Chinese associates are killed in a drive-by. He survives the attack, but resigns his job. We next see him as a truck driver in a transport cafe where he spots Scarlett Johansson on TV wearing his priced dresses. He smiles amusingly as he drives away
The last two stories are about Marco and Cira, two young wannabe gangsters and operate their own small racket independently of a local clan. This tuned up boys are a great fans of Hollywood films and enact references instantly of Tony Montana, Miami and Cuba of Scarface. Their first score is about raiding African immigrants during a drug purchase at the famous Hotel Boomerang. The word of this episode reported at local mob lord Giovanni, who order and warns them under threat of violence not to repeat such behavior in the future. Snubbing Giovanni completely, onward spying Camorra gangsters with stash of weapons and steal around firing off rounds by the banks of a Regi Lagni canal estuary in the marshland. In no time are out of money and use guns to rob the video arcade and spend their stolen money at the strip club.Here again, these gangsters are angered, and threaten to kill them if not return the weapons in a days’ time. Both Marco and Cira prove stubborn. Zio, a local gangster approaches them in a bar with an offer to come work for him with conditions of reward €10,000 in return to the weapons and murder Peppe O’Cavallaro, viz. uncle Bernardino. The duo accepts the contract, that turns out to be a trap. in the middle of the gang war, they are ambushed and killed by Giovanni, Bernardino, Vittorio in the same location of their supposed target, an abandoned beach resort next to Regi Lagni canal estuary. The last scene shows their dead bodies being carried away by a bulldozer.
Reading through the movie, we see the story of Saviano describes the clandestine particulars of the Camorra business, be it their involvement in the fashion industry or commentaries on the immense wealth the Camorra has amassed through their monopoly on toxic waste dumping, which has had a devastating agricultural, environmental and heath impact in Southern Italy. The writer has been threatened by several Neapolitan “godfathers” and who is still under continued police protection fearing attacks.
Gomorrah does make it feel different from so many other gangster/crime movies about deadly serious violence and its global perspective of how far and wide the gangs reach from a high fashion business to the dirt in the streets of Italy. Sure, the immensity to the dispute between gangs the way been pressed down in this world for power and self-indulgences. The sagacity that you are visiting an alien world is critical to the film’s forceful grip
Gomorrah demonstrates how these conventions of free-willed similarities between Italian art cinema and film noire still a vital tendency. All credits to Garrone’s handling of the script is cooler, emotionally detached, as if he is conducting a study of people and designed to explore social and cultural phenomena. This intelligent effort keeps the story from boiling over into melodrama. The visuals are much in abundance and those rough shots are beautifully combined and as audience you have an influence on those cinematic moments’ anticipation and happening in a real time. Director Matteo Garrone, wisely adopts a restrained and straightforward filming style to allow the power of the events on screen to resonate without distraction and Gomorrah is a significant inclusion in the gangster genre that takes that next leap in eliminating the mystique and glamour from organized delinquency.
- Directed by Matteo Garrone
- Produced by Domenico Procacci
- Based on the book by Roberto Saviano
- Written by Matteo Garrone; Roberto Saviano; Maurizio Braucci; Ugo Chiti; Gianni Di Gregorio & Massimo Gaudioso
- Casting: Toni Servillo; Gianfelice Imperator; Maria Nazionale; Salvatore Cantalupo; Gigio Morra; Salvatore Abruzzese; Marco Macor; Ciro Petrone & Carmine Paternoster
- Cinematography: Marco Onorato
- Edited by Marco Spoletini
- Release date May 16, 2008
- Run time of 137 minutes
- Country: Italy
- Language: Neapolitan and Italian