BLACK SOULS, film review by Arthur Glover

BLACK SOULS, film review by Arthur Glover

Black Souls **1/2 out of 4 stars
directed by Francesco Munzi
starring – Marco Leonardi, Peppino Mazzotta, Fabrizio Ferracane, Giuseppe Fumo

You’ll have to dig into your VOD to watch this one probably. I’m here to say it’s kind of worth it. Black Souls, adapted from the novel written by Gioacchino Criaco, is a moral tale based on real events set in Southern Italy, about three brothers in the Carbone family, who are involved in the international drug trade. Two of the brothers, Luigi and Rocco(Marco Leonardi, Peppino Mazzotta) live large in the city, while the oldest brother Luciano(Fabrizio Ferracane) tends to his farm and herding sheep, in the old town of Africo, keeping distance from his brother’s drug empire. His twenty year old son Leo(Giuseppe Fumo, best in show) unimpressed with his father’s way of life, is eager to follow in his two uncle’s footsteps instead. When Leo decides to shoot up a rival gang’s bar to prove his worth, the three Carbone brothers come back together in Africo.

Director Francesco Munzi (The Rest of the Night, Saimir), with the help of haunting images by cinematographer Vladan Radovic, aim for the heights of the great Italian mafia films like The Godfather and Gomorrah. And the actors using nuance instead of dialogue to provide the back stories is a challenge met. The result is a beautifully rendered, but rather simplistic meditation on the lengths we go to get the respect we feel we deserve, no matter how blackened our souls get. But there is too much build, for such little pay off. When major characters start dying, you want the film to come out swinging, when it really hangs back. The twist ending hardly helps. But when the filmmakers keep their focus on young Leo, as he gradually gets in way over his head, Black Souls hints at the psychological-gangster epic it could’ve been.

SHARE:
The Latest In Your Scene: