Special Edition, The Criterion Collection
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Matteo Garrone's GOMORRAH is a stark, shocking vision of contemporary gangsterdom, and one of cinema's most authentic depictions of organized crime. In this tour de force adaptation of undercover Italian reporter Roberto Saviano's best-selling expose of Naples' Mafia underworld (known as the Camorra), Garrone links five disparate tales in which men and children are caught up in a corrupt system that extends from the housing projects to the world of haute couture. Filmed with an exquisite detachment interrupted by bursts of violence, GOMORRAH is a shattering, socially engaged true-crime story from a major new voice in Italian cinema.
"Five Stories:" a 60-minute documentary on the making of Gomorrah
New video interviews with Garrone and actor Toni Servillo
Interviews with writer Roberto Saviano and actors Gianfelice Imparato
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Chuck Stephens
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Movie: 4/5 Video Quality: 4.5/5 Audio Quality: 5/5 Extras: 5/5 Overall: 4.6/5 (rounded up in total star ranking)
"Gomorrah," a movie about the Camorra crime organization, has received so much praise and hype that I had to give it a blind-buy. I can't say that I found it totally exciting and coherent, but it is notable and well worth watching.
The movie features five different storylines that are intertwined, almost to the point of becoming a montage. Each story features characters that are very genuine, with impeccable acting and writing. Despite the movie's pacing and structure, there are a number of fascinating and insightful scenes; it is especially notable for showing the Camorra's relationship between itself and the people around it, while maintaining a gritty realistic flavor. There is some bloody violence; it is neither overly glorified nor overly condemned, for like the movie as a whole it remains objective and unflinching. Cameramanship is documentary-style, with lots of handheld movements, but there are never any shots that are overly chaotic. Production design (sets, props, costumes, locations) is excellent, for it appears distinctive and genuine. Music is interesting.
This disc has excellent quality. The video is very sharp and clean, with excellent color and contrast. Film grain is pretty heavy; some darker scenes may appear noisier than other scenes, but it is very good-looking for the most part. Sound quality is decent (DTS-HD MA 5.1). This movie is in Italian only with English subtitles. Includes a number of extras (documentaries, deleted scenes, trailers, etc). My copy came in a clear plastic case.
Remember, this is not Goodfellas in Naples. Gomorrah has five distinct stories to achieve a wider scope, a panorama of corruption. The film does not follow the ups and downs of a crew or even of the lifestyle, but of the state of Campania and how "the lifestyle" affects those who never wanted to live like that in the first place. Its' examining of the innocents makes this film much heavier than most Mafia films. However, you will laugh quite a few times as well as be awestruck by the hyper-real cinematography and this helps to lighten the load.