Il sindaco del Rione Sanità

Il sindaco del Rione Sanità
Running time:115 minutes
Director:Mario Martone
Release date:30 september 2019
Antonio Barracano, nicknamed the Mayor of Rione Sanità, is a man of honor who rules this neighborhood of Naples. Aided by his natural charisma, his network of influence and his doctor friend, he dispenses justice according to his own criteria, independently of the State and in the manner of King Solomon. The day a young man comes to ask for his blessing to kill his own father, he must reconsider his position on the merits of revenge...

Mulder's Review

Covering a festival allows us to discover new films but also to catch up with old ones that have not been released outside their country of origin.  This is the case of the new film by Mario Martonen The mayor of Rione Sanita (Il sindaco del Rione Sanità) which is the adaptation of the homonymous play by Eduardo De Filippo and was presented before at the Venice Film Festival 2019. It must be admitted that this adaptation is too talkative and cruelly lacks rhythm and flavor. However it is interesting to see in this film a satire barely disguised of the Neapolitan mob.

The subject of this film is not new in itself and had already given rise to a film by Ugo Fabrizio Giordani in 1997 with Anthony Quinn in the role of Antonio Barracano. This new adaptation rejuvenates the deal by assigning the actor Francesco Di Leva this role and especially wants to be closer to the play by keeping several lines even if it seems outdated and constantly plummeting the pace of the film. 

The editing of the film by Jacopo Quadri does not make things easier either by breaking it down into three distinct acts in a unity of place showing well this theatrical side pressed and especially a will of the director to remain too close to the original material without having to reinvent it what makes this film constantly disappoints and seems to tend towards a film of the 80s by its outdated staging and its total lack of inventiveness.

Once again this film is the perfect example of a failed adaptation of a play that could have given life to a crisp film about the workings of the Neapolitan mafia and the behavior of certain people who think they are above the law. We can easily understand what attracted this director to the play and especially to the way he wanted to transpose it to our time. However, it would have been necessary to have a script capable of taking a sufficient distance from the original material and reinventing it instead of proposing here a frozen film that seems to spout tirades from a play without trying to hold the audience's attention. In this case, this film was one of our big disappointments of the crime film festival (Reims polar) and it is easy to understand why this film was not distributed in France until today.

The mayor of Rione Sanita (Il sindaco del Rione Sanità)
A film by Mario Martone
Produced by Nicola Giuliano, Francesca Cima & Carlotta Calori
Screenplay by Mario Martone & Ippolita Di Majo after the play by Eduardo De Filippo 
With Francesco Di Leva, Massimiliano Gallo, Roberto De Francesco, Adriano Pantaleo, Daniela Ioia, Giuseppe Gaudino, Gennaro Di Colandrea, Lucienne Perreca, Salvatore Presutto, Viviana Cangiano
Music by Ralph P
Director of photography: Ferran Paredes Rubio
Editing: Jacopo Quadri 
Production: Indigo Film, Rai cinema, Mallia films 
Distribution : Nexo digital (Italy)
Release date: August 30, 2019 (Venice), September 30, 2019 (Italy)
Running time: 115 minutes

Viewed on May 30, 2021 

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