Maybe if you’re Italian and follow Italian politics, this might be fascinating. Although, after sitting through it, even if it had been about American politics, the way director Paolo Sorrentino has fashioned the tale I don’t think many people outside of the world of effete film critics would be too enthused.
Giulio Andreotti (Toni Servillo) was Prime Minister of Italy seven times, Minister for Defense eight times, Minister for Foreign Affairs five times, Minister for Finance twice…, well, you get the picture. This guy was the consummate Italian politician. After his last government failed in 1992, he was accused of cozying up to the Mafia, and was tried for lots of things, including murder.
Servillo portrays Andreotti as an almost-lifeless personage, someone without even the glimmer of a personality, which is what makes this film so lifeless, despite the many murders and assassinations. When he walks and stands, he adopts such a pose that he looks as if he’s freezing cold.
The film is further marred by Director of Photography Luca Bigazzi’s insistence on constant Extreme Close-Ups (ECUs). Some are so close you can see the pores on Servillo’s face. But not to worry because there is so much Italian talk that you spend much of your time reading the subtitles. You might as well be reading something and the subtitles are as good as anything. God knows, there’s certainly not much happening on the screen.
Andreotti was Prime Minister when his rival, Aldo Moro, Chairman of the Christian Democrat Party, was kidnapped by the Red Brigades and murdered after 55 days in captivity, during which time Andreotti did little to save him.
Given what happened during his stewardship, this is a surprisingly boring way to tell it. (In Italian).