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Home: Dubai Film Festival 2008: Day 4: Gomorra

The first word in ‘Organized Crime’ is organized. The Italian film Gomorra takes viewers on a fierce matter-of-fact journey that exposes how organized crime spreads in modern cities. In the case of Gomorra, the city is Naples, Italy where the Comorra gang infiltrates the very fabric of society. They seem to be far more than an empire; they are a thriving industry, the very roots of the economy. People, who don’t find jobs, work for them in places that are fronts for turning the Comorra’s illegally acquired money into legally profitable businesses. Teenagers are impressed by their spirit of brotherhood and the lure of easy success, money and ‘growth’. The film, deadly serious as it is, isn’t without a sense of irony. One of the characters fancies himself on Scarface’s Tony Montana, and while practicing his shooting shouts out for non-existent ‘Columbians’.

Gomorra expects patience from its audience, which is thoroughly rewarded by the end. Many of the characters or their relationships are not initially evident. In terms of its sprawling plotline the movie is made in the spirit of City of God and weaves its many plot threads to a central theme or concept, in a term now referred to ‘hyperlink cinema’. This allows the film to be extremely detailed, though never complicated. It seems to possess almost an insider’s knowledge of the well oiled mechanics of this crime faction and all credit must be given to the author of the book, Roberto Saviano, who now lives in hiding for fear of retribution.

It is pointless to talk about the plot in any specific terms because not only would it fail to justify the worthiness of the film, but also because of how elaborate it may seem. As a viewer I was sucked into the frankness of the world created and the way, in little acts and gestures, the organization, like a corporation, grew and grew till it became all encompassing. By the last act I knew not what to expect, anything was possible because everyone was dispensable. The only true major drawback of the film is that the extremely broad canvas almost never allows any of the characters to fully develop, they all seem equally important or trivial, and there is no single protagonist. Perhaps that is also the point of the film – no one is left immune by an ailment that affects without discrimination.
- by Faizan Rashid [Rated 4 out of 5]

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