The Hand of God (2021)
Title: È stata la mano di Dio
Genre: Drama |
Runtime: 130 min
Director: Paolo Sorrentino
Starring: Filippo Scott, Toni Servillo, Teresa Saponangelo
In 1980s Naples, young Fabietto pursues his love for football as family tragedy strikes, shaping his uncertain but promising future as a filmmaker.
WEAK LEADING ROLE IN AN TRAGIC ENVIRONMENT
Despite exceeding expectations on combining both the charming, fun profanity-filled language and the wet-soaking drama, this film doesn’t land right for me. It tries to charm with familiar scenes, comedy and unsettling scenes, and over-dramatic scenes that don’t give any build-up or close-up, losing its nature finding.
The story goes all over the place, the scenes don’t continue from each other and don’t have a concrete structure to follow. Sorrentino molds a charming family with a deep connection and a troubled past but the ignorance with no structure is far annoying to foresee. It’s a coming-of-age story, the film follows a virgin boy called Fabietto Schisa who wants to become a filmmaker and get a job for visual storytelling, going to theatres often. Even for the uneven storytelling, the film is still a fun experience with crude humor that lands perfectly. It’s funny because it’s sad at the same time and in some way realistic showing how people are behaving in-between each other.
Filippo Scotti who plays the protagonist Fabietto Schisa, doesn’t really get emotional. His acting is weak compared to other key actors in the ensemble. Despite that, his naive virgin look-a-like. Toni Servillo, who plays his father Saverio, has a certain charm and a relationship that build-up in voice-less acting. He’s a veteran compared to his colleague. Betty Pedrazzi who plays Baronessa Focale plays a surprisingly significant role in Schisas’s later life with her roughness and cold but caring hand. Even if this is based, loosely on director Paolo Sorrentino’s childhood, it tries to capture a football-oriented family, a Maradona-loving kid who tries to survive the struggle of high school and everything in-between.
The story builds up for something more, and with the short third act, it loses the grip on landing in a nice format. It just rolls and it’s a precarious setting as well. Roma and Belfast have also a grim setting, a troubled childhood featuring an actor portraying a famous director. This film is not an exception. Sorrentino succeeds in creating the 80s of Italy with a warm summer, baths, and wine with goofing around which is a charming sense of creativity that few directors have done before.