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Mafioso

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NR
1964

Mafioso is a 1962 Italian black comedy film directed by the outstanding Alberto Lattuada and written by five of Italy’s most skilled writers- Rafael Azcona, Marco Ferreri, Agenore Incrocci, Furio Scarpelli, and Luigi Magni. The movie portrays the life of a northern Italian industrial man with a profound satirical tone. The film brilliantly blends comedy, drama, and a sinister look at the Mafia's influence in Sicily by incorporating elements of both comedy and tragedy.

Mafioso features one of Italy's most eminent comedic actors, Alberto Sordi, who delivers an exceptional performance, bringing the film's unique blend of genres and moods to life. Other leading stars include the Brazilian actress Norma Bengell and the Italian actress Gabriella Conti, who also deliver outstanding performances.

The story revolves around the central character, Antonio Badalamenti – portrayed flawlessly by Alberto Sordi. Antonio is an Italian expatriate working as a Fiat factory foreman in northern Italy. As an efficient, clock-watching time manager at a prestigious Turin automobile assembly plant, Antonio lives a well-off middle-class life, and he is proud of his achievements. He loves his free-thinking, relatively feminist wife Marta, marvellously played by Norma Bengell, who comfortably assimilated into the cosmopolitan northern environment, and their two adorable daughters.

Yearning for a break from his monotonous routine, Antonio decides to return to Sicily after many years with his family to enjoy his summer vacation. He yearns to show his family the rustic beauty of his childhood chock-full of innocence and nostalgia. But once he’s back in his sun-baked Sicilian village among his relatives, Antonio’s life takes an unexpected and dramatic turn.

Against the picturesque backdrop of Sicily, a land sweltering in heat and steeped in tradition, latent tensions gradually begin to surface. Lattuada unravels Antonio's seemingly tranquil life, exposing the simmering conflicts within his seemingly simple vacation back home. The swinging 60's has begun, and Antonio is increasingly torn between the angst of where he is and where he comes from, the stark contrast between his present cosmopolitan life and the hard traditional values of his past.

The movie, with a backdrop of a serene Italian countryside, explores grave social issues and the unassuming influence of the Mafia in Italian society. We see tension in the clash between the urban modernity that Antonio became accustomed to in the North and the rural tradition that awaits him in his Sicily. The movie does an impeccable job of setting up the audience for a comedy, then shifting gears and sending them down a dark alley of suspense and social commentary about the Mafia.

Alberto Lattuada, the director of Mafioso, crafts a potent and thought-provoking narrative by employing consummate skill and precision. Lattuada’s remarkable ability to balance humour, coupled with dark undertones, magnificently brings out the societal depth within the story.

Mafioso further stands out for its outstanding cinematography by Armando Nannuzzi. The amusement of motives and patterns, the comic timing, and the vivid portrayals of Antonio's psyche make each frame worthy of appreciation. Nannuzzi beautifully captures the rustic charm of Sicily juxtaposed against the sprawling industrial landscape of northern Italy. The film's score, composed by Piero Piccioni, adds another engaging layer to the film, enhancing the narrative's varying moods.

In conclusion, in the film Mafioso, the viewer is presented with a stark, darkly humorous journey through the seemingly peaceful Italian countryside. Brimming with satire and drama, Mafioso uses its charismatic lead, Alberto Sordi, to take us through a profound exploration of corruption and manipulation. It is a film that boldly plays with genres, intermixing comedy and drama while always maintaining an undercurrent of suspense. The film is as compelling and relevant today as it was in 1962 with its complex portrayal of Italian society, making it a must-see for any film enthusiast.

Mafioso is a Crime, Drama, Comedy movie released in 1964. It has a runtime of 105 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 7.6. It also holds a MetaScore of 88.

7.6/10
88/100
Director
Alberto Lattuada
Stars
Alberto Sordi, Norma Bengell
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