Nov 2, 2015

A Dark Rome – 2014 – A Black Comedy from Italy

To be frank, my first impression of this was “what kind of amateurish crap is this?”. But then I started to watch it and I realized that what I initially thought was amateurish, was indeed part of the black humor. It has about as much presence of realism as a British drama, which is to say a lot. I believe in the characters in some weird sort of way. They are all exaggerated but still on the spot. It’s really nicely acted when you get it. Hopefully you will “get it” faster than I did. It took me three times before I really understood what I was looking at.

Don’t misunderstand me now. This is a good thing! I love it when I don’t understand the concept of a movie the first time. The experience of being “outsmarted” by the movie itself is just a measure of how well written it is. Some movies that you get right away might be very entertaining, but when they’re over, they’re just over. There’s nothing more to think about. Here it’s more like “what the heck did I just see?”. A very rare and pleasant feeling.

Part of what’s confusing me is that the story isn’t told in a conventional way. It’s more or less fragmented and skips in time back and forth. But on the other hand, this is way more common these days than it was a couple of decades ago. So this might be more conventional than I realize. Anyway, the story itself is about this guy who is hunted by the ghost of his murdered friend. I think this should symbolize the inner dialog; conscious of guilt and so on. They guy is involved to some extent in the death of his friend and is torn between doing the right thing, morally or what benefits him as a person the most. That’s my interpretation anyway.

By the end of the day, I find this a thoughtful piece of what’s morally right. It might not be very entertaining at first but it grows on you and if you dare to use your brain and think for yourself, you’ll see that this is by far more interesting than most of the mainsteam blockbusters out there.
I like it!