As his third feature film, director Fabio Mollo, sincerely delivers an endearing existential road movie, which leads us to follow in the footsteps of the destiny of Paolo, a solitary thirtysomething working in a furniture store in Turin, whose meeting unexpected with Mia, a marginal young woman, will upset the inert pattern of her life.
The Italian filmmaker and screenwriter was first noticed for his many short films that regularly won awards at the biggest international film festivals (notably Il Buio in 2005), then by a convincing first feature film Il sud è niente (2013) and the shocking documentary Vincenzo da Crosia in 2015, returns to offer us his second fiction film Father d’Italiareleased in Italian cinemas since last year.
A man’s voice enters the black screen to speak to someone, telling them that there are dreams that come true and others that we don’t even have the courage to dream of, and the first notes of the electro pop track Comet of the artist LIM precedes the image filtered in green of a man with his head lowered in the toilets of a nightclub, before seeing this one strolling in this night club where he spots a man flirting with another, before arguing amorously with him. Breakup. From the first sequence the atmosphere is set, the camera meets Paolo, a young homosexual man on the verge of breaking up, before a young woman falls into his arms inside a dark room, where the bodies of men hug each other, as a result of discomfort. Like an angel with a mane of fire, this young woman without embarrassment fallen from the sky with a Madonna sewn into the back of her jacket will melt the introvert Paolo still in the disarray of his separation and tormented by dreams of a woman turning his back on her before leaving.
The dynamic staging takes shape by following these two vacillating entities through multiple adventures subtly revealing in turn the future motherhood of the singer rejected by a group, the abandonment in an orphanage by her mother of Paolo, and others. misadventures leading this atypical duo to begin a crossing of Italy from north to south. Without thinking about the next day, instinctively like two animals wounded by the tortuous paths of life, the two rickety beings head south aboard the utility delivery van of the brand where Paolo works to find the father of the unborn child. From lies to family disappointments, the wounds of these two humans on the edge of the abyss will be healed over the limits in an almost maternal way (singing a lullaby before sleeping or learning to swim).
The eloquence of the story through this crossing of Italy and that encounters take place reveals a societal portrait of Italy, the weight of religion still very present, the questioning of the child’s desire for the part of gays proves to be “against nature” called into question by the current Italian government, the anguish of its youth and its few prospects, the inevitable need for roots and the desire for paternity (main cause of the rupture of Paolo terrified at this idea that his companion longed for). Without militancy or didacticism, the director operates with brilliant little touches, even delivering magnificent bewitching atmospheric scenes like escape or cathartic bubbles (theft of the wedding dress or singing of Mia disclosing her suffering). Alternating tones with tragicomic, poetic or melodramatic sequences, the charm of this skilful cutting triggers empathy for its two unstable anti-heroes whose unexpected love story will allow Paolo to project himself for the first time through a future, naming itself Italia…
This vibrant escapade with rhythmic editing seduces with its splendid photography, the superb musical composition always with the right pulsations of the vibrations of Paolo and Mia, and makes us vibrate intimately thanks to the interpretations of a remarkable accuracy. This tender complicity is particularly moving through the involvement of the moving Luca Marinelli (Una Questione Privata, Bad Seed, They Call Him Jeeg Robot) well supported by the extrovert and unstable Isabella Ragonese (The Nostra Vita) through believable end-to-end alchemy accurately illustrated by stares or other delicate gestures.
Come and discover as soon as possible this modest intimate portrait of this disoriented man who did not think of the future before meeting furtively on his way a star guiding his way towards a paternal destiny unimaginable before. An intelligent dramatic comedy well in the era of time. Melancholy. Pertinent. Touching.
The Father of Italian
Italian film directed by Fabio Mollo
With Luca Marinelli, Isabella Ragonese, Anna Ferruzzo
Genre: Comedy Drama
Released: August 15, 2018