Me and Angela Review: the Italian comedy about death is on Sky

Italian cinema is continuing to try, with mixed results the assault on genres that have not belonged to him in recent decades. The fantasy, reasoned almost as an evolution of the grotesque that just last year was exalted with Freaks Out (here the our review of Freaks Out), is teasing not a few directors, willing to depart from the productions that best identify us even abroad: kammerspiels, sentimental comedies and existentialist films.

Emancipating from what are the canons of our country is an important job, fundamental to deviate from the indications that the cultural derivation imposes on us, so as not to have to always end up talking about the mafia and corruption, topics in Italy that are always very expensive. . For this, in the first instance, the idea of ​​Herbert Simone Paragnani with Me and Angela it intrigued us, to the point of becoming interested, only to realize that fantasy and the supernatural were a mere pretext. Now that the film is available on Sky and NOW, it’s time to talk about it.

An honest man, an honest man

Arturo (Pietro Sermonti) is a forty-year-old Roman who has just been promoted to CEO of his company: engaged, in marriage with a former tissue, he is a good man, ready to help even his best friend, suffering from nose cancer. He lives in the house that his mother, a wealthy former actress of the Roman scene, gave him.

All his certainties are suddenly upset by the arrival of Angela (Ilenia Pastorelli), a supernatural entity that represents one of the incarnations of death, arrived in his house to ferry him to the afterlife. Arturo, intent on recovering a life that would soon lead him to hang himself, decides to redeem himself and start a vindictive journey that will also allow him to discover the secrets related to the angel of his death. The entire narrative set up by Paragnani seems to want to divide the film into two long episodes of a miniseries, starting with a protagonist, Arturo, and ending with the entire focus of the action on Angela. She becomes, in fact, the girl then the nerve center of the story, allowing us to discover what are its secrets, its mysteries and what happens in its existence. Archived, in fact, the journey of Arturo, who finds himself discovering all the lies and lies that surround him, the angel of death is called to fight against his own lies, his own misdeeds and his own choices. If, then, at the beginning the whole story seems to want to tell the sadness of an honest man and an honest manin the end we find ourselves in our hands a surreal story, made up of sparse splatter elements and unreal pursuits, perhaps due to a single exercise in style by the director.

Narrative necklines

Speaking of the honest and upright man, he is used as the main theme of the entire film The ballad of blind love by Fabrizio de André, a wonderful hymn to genuine joy misunderstood. A curious choice that lets imagine a sad and tearing love story between Arturo and Angela, being the song the exaltation of a love that proposes the cancellation of a man by virtue of an acceptance by a woman who feeds of a deep lust for power: a very misleading messagebecause between the two protagonists a relationship of complicity persists in completing a vindictive journey and never necessarily spoiled by love.

Indeed, in the second half of the film Arturo is forced to make extreme gestures just to see Angela happy with another man. As much as de André’s song manages to set up one of the most irreverent dichotomies between the cheerful rhythm of the ballad and the sad and deadly content of the text, it creates a strong neckline with the text narrated by Paragnani.

Strong of the presence of Pietro Sermontiwho is entrusted with a role in which he has often worn himself well, starting with One of the family by Alessio Maria Federici, the film appears a little unloaded on Ilenia Pastorelli’s side: her having to appear femme fatale brings her back to the rather clumsy interpretation in the role of Sabrina in We just have the crime (find ours here review of We just have crime) by Massimiliano Bruno, director of which Paragnani is a close collaborator. The movements of the actress are sometimes caricatured, in interpreting a role that would have deserved greater grotesque and dark expressiveness, which instead here gives way to an almost Italian comedy-style drift.

Not knowing what to belong to

The biggest problem of Me and Angelain fact, lies in the fact of announcing itself as a fantastic film, in the relationship that binds Arturo to the contact with Death, and of ending as a title that it has nothing of the fantasy he would like. The construction of the imaginary, of the entire universe in which the narration rests, is false: Angela handles a sort of egg-timer in place of an object that should announce the next candidate for death, but at the same time lets us glimpse, from a small window, one’s past, without letting us understand its meaning and continuity with the present.

Among other things, at this juncture Paragnani tries a directing habit which, on the contrary, recalls Mommy (if you don’t know this wonderful film, jump on ours Mommy’s review) by Xavier Dolan, who from a 1: 1 ratio of the image had pushed Antoine Olivier Pilon, the actor who played Steve O’Connor, to enlarge the shot when he acquired his freedom expressive. The Italian director, on the other hand, in order to convey a sense of occlusion to the past, shifts the format towards 1: 1, enlarging it immediately afterwards, leaving this directorial expedient tied to a single moment, isolated and narratively not very meaningful.

Me and Angela ends up telling us also a little exploited Romein a chase and a life on the street that seems to want to evoke the punk rock of the eighties, especially in the character of Eugenio Franceschini, who with bleached hair, black nails and numerous piercings looks like an evolved version of the Spike of Buffy. A choice, even here, caricatured, which leads the entire film to remain in the balance between the two genders in which he ends up wanting to identify himself: on the one hand a dark comedy centered on death, on the other hand an Italian comedy still too strongly linked to those stereotypes and clichés that should be scratched from our profiles.

Me and Angela Review: the Italian comedy about death is on Sky