Coming-of-age-bad cap-crime-thriller-mafia-gangster-dysfunctional family-rock’n’roll-sex comedyApril 27, 2011

Coming-of-age-bad cap-crime-thriller-mafia-gangster-dysfunctional family-rock’n’roll-sex comedy

Eurocinema

On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies on demand from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: ALBAKIARA (Eurocinema).

 

ALBAKIARA
- A coming-of-age-bad cap-crime-thriller-mafia-gangster-dysfunctional family-rock’n’roll-sex comedy-drama
By Cynthia Kane
 
You might have the urge to turn off ALBAKIARA after the first 15 minutes. But stick with it. It all comes together. Or it doesn’t exactly, but in the end, it will stay with you. I watched it twice. It grew on me more than I expected.

The story follows Italian teenager Chiara, nicknamed Albakiara after a literary character whose angelic looks and character make her the ideal girl and daughter. This Albakiara looks the part, but while a lot more innocent than she’d like to admit, is a hard partying, fun-loving, little-studying teen.
 


Little does she know that her uncle’s grocery storeroom is harboring all kinds of merchandise for the local crooked cops with links to a Mafia boss we never meet called “K”. After storing stolen kilos of the purest cocaine, her uncle and two of his cohorts die in a horrific car accident, Chiara stumbles on the loot and happily shares with the school janitor and boyfriend and plan to become rich. She never questions the what, why or how it got there.

The talented cast is knock-out beautiful: Laura Gigante is Chiara playing her with equal conviction of naïveté and naughtiness. Raz Degan is the bad cop, Detective Castri who may look familiar. In real life, Degan’s an Israeli-American, former male super model, now a big, big star in Italy. He’s been seen in some U.S. films such as ALEXANDER and TITUS. But really surprising is that he’s a compelling and very good actor – probably the best performance here.
 

 

Another gorgeous cast member is Davide Rossi who plays Chiara’s deejay boyfriend – again a surprisingly three-dimensional performance in a film that defies genre, story and style. The only oddity is Kelly Potts who plays an American substitute teacher, who cannot speak Italian - one wonders how she and the character she plays ever came to be in this film.

 



While it doesn’t really work here, it harkens back to some of the great Italian films of the 50’s 60’s where American actors would appear, their performances dubbed, some for better or worse.

Stefano Salvati is a curious director; while not completely emerging, he is someone to watch. He plays with some interesting stylistic choices, sometimes invoking the fantasy imagination of Chiara’s teenage mind, but these choices don’t carry through the entire film. He takes on so much here that the end result is way over-the-top and messy.

Still I am glad I stuck with it as the story and the performances stayed with me for long after. In lesser skilled hands this would have been an easily forgotten film, two-dimensional and silly. ALBAKIARA is a lot more than that.

So…coming-of-age-bad cap-crime-thriller-mafia-gangster-dysfunctional family-rock’n’roll-sex comedy-drama?…yes, all of the above, but not really for teens or kids. An adult tale that will take you a while to figure out what to take away from it.

 
DEMAND IT
 

- Cynthia Kane

Cynthia
Cynthia Kane reviews documentaries for On Demand Weekly. She is a writer and Sr Programming Manager for [ ITVS], overseeing the International Initiative for funding in their SF office. Prior she’s had many incarnations from actor to writer to producer. She co-created DOCday on Sundance Channel.

 

Look for ALBAKIARA (Eurocinema) under your cable system's On Demand section.

Read Other Reviews By Cynthia Kane:

NEDS - DEMAND IT

CEREMONY - DEMAND IT

SECRET SUNSHINE - DEMAND IT

WHITE MATERIAL  - DEMAND IT

INSPECTOR BELLAMY - DEMAND IT

ALL YOU NEED IS KLAUS - DEMAND IT

THE LOTTERY - DEMAND IT

« Previous
Next »