Suburra is an Italian 2015 film by Stefano Sollima (director of the Gomorrah TV Series). The main premise revolves around a plan to turn the waterfront in Rome to a Las Vegas style resort, and all the trappings and potential money influx that will bring. The plan to get this done requires multiple parts to come to fruition and everyone to pull in the same direction, which is easier said than done.
With it being a film from the director of the Gomorrah TV series you would expect it to have some elements of Mafia involved, and you would be right! There are numerous groups of people invested in and working on getting this plan to work but it is balancing on the knife-edge of peace and possibility.
The whole lot of events takes place in the space of a few days. with the film split up into the individual day’s events.
Superbly shot in and around Rome, it is visually spectacular. There is plenty of time for city-wide shots and interesting angles to emphasise the wonderful architecture that Rome has to offer and the peaceful tranquillity of the coastline, but that is in complete contrast to the real canvas of the film; the dark, complex plot and the wonderfully malevolent events that drive this story forward, involving and interweaving the characters and their story-lines. Everyone has their motives and their desires for what they wish to gain and achieve. But bubbling under the surface is the power to destroy, the desire to use violence to get the required result. Quite frequently bursting through and exploding on the screen in culmination to the tension that has been building.
We are introduced to the cityscape in a dark, torrential rainy environment which gives a foreboding atmosphere to this part of the film. Events unfold on this night which prove that this downpour is truly prophetic as bad things happen which will have long reaching effects in this film. Starting with a politicians indiscretion combined with a delusion of grandeur, an untouchable belief, through to a local mobster putting the squeeze on local residents of the waterfront area to gain their property before the re-zoning law gets passed through parliament. It doesn’t take long before the body count begins to pile up, whether intentional or just unfortunate. They all have an effect and they all work to bring today the various plot strands.
Without giving too much away into the actual intricacies of the plot, of which there are many, these unfortunate events throw spanners into the previously smooth workings of “The Plan”. The blackmail, pressure, payback, retribution, peace-making and in-fighting are infused from this point on. One person, who we don’t find much about, attempts to keep the plan moving forward, dealing with all sides but there is a lot to deal with and the dealings are growing ever more significant with each switch-back and development in this downward spiral into violence and chaos.
As the tension builds and the various strings get pulled together and exposed as being intricately intertwined there is pay-off and then cruel twists, vindication and righteous revenge.
The score by M83 definitely adds weight to the proceedings, building and trailing away as and when it is required, adding emotion to the required scenes. It’s not often that I realise that the music within a film is complimenting the action on the screen but with this it certainly left it’s mark.
The acting, especially from Number 8 (Alessandro Borghi), Viola (Greta Scarano) and Mr Malgradi (Pierrefrancesco Favino) are top notch. Bringing drive, desire, devotion and undoubted emotion to this magnificent film.
An absolutely superb film, dark and violent, compelling viewing