Review: Ghost Night
- VENICE 2022: Fulvio Risuleo makes an excellent dramedy and buddy movie with a sparkling rhythm, supported by the performances of the two leads, Edoardo Pesce and newcomer Yothin Clavenzani
This year there is a very pleasant surprise in the Orizzonti Extra section of the Venice Film Festival, which bodes well for the future of Italian cinema. Ghost Night [+see also:
interview: Fulvio Risuleo
film profile], the third feature film directed by the young Fulvio Risuleo, is truly a gem, supported by the performances of the two leads and a fresh and intelligent script.
The story goes like this: night has fallen in Rome and Tarek, a seventeen-year-old boy of Egyptian and Indonesian origin (Yothin Clavenzani, in his first full-length film after participating in the Skam Italia series) is waiting for the tram. His friends phone him and ask him to buy some marijuana before joining them. Reluctantly, the boy accepts and meets a group of young drug dealers to buy the narcotics. Soon after, a car follows the boy and stops him. At the wheel is Agent Proietti (Edoardo Pesce), a plainclothes policeman who wants to take him to the barracks to file a report. Tarek, frightened, tries to escape but, tackled by the officer, is handcuffed. This will only be the beginning of a very long, crazy night full of twists and turns, during which a very strange bond will be created between the two protagonists.
With his performance, Pesce succeeds in constructing a complex character that is difficult to decipher: cocky, aggressive, with a crazy sense of humour, often irritating. It is very easy, then, to empathise with Tarek: Clavenzani's character, most of the time, seems to helplessly watch the police officer's headshots, just like the audience.
Risuleo's writing is full of brilliant dialogue, at times ingenious: in this regard, the entirely delirious sequence set in a tavern should be noted. Here the protagonists juggle, among other things, in risqué discussions on coratelle, religions and reincarnations. But there is more than just action and humour: little by little, Risuleo peels back Agent Proietti's armour, giving the audience a glimpse of what lies behind his unruliness, adding further depth to the narrative.
The film is enriched by an elegant and dynamic direction, which is well suited to this type of unrestrained buddy movie/dramedy and tries, time and time again, to deceive and disorientate the viewer, not letting him quite understand which direction the story is taking. Guido Mazzoni's cinematography portrays a dark, dangerous and almost aseptic Rome. The film, theoretically, could be set in any European metropolis and, unlike so many domestic productions, has great potential to attract both Italian and foreign viewers to the theatres.
Ghost Night is an Italian production from Elsinore Film and Wildside. Vision Distribution handles worldwide sales.
(Translated from Italian)
Photogallery 07/09/2022: Venice 2022 - Ghost Night
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