As the Savastanos' rivals rally around Conte, Genny also faces trouble internally as his young supporters clash with the older lieutenants. As Imma intervenes, she learns Ciro is behind the murder of...
A criminal known as Lebanese has a dream: to conquer the underworld of Rome. To carry out this feat without precedent he puts together a ruthless and highly organized gang. Their progress ... See full summary »
Gomorra: Highly Original, Gritty with Great Locations, Actors, and Dialogue
Make no mistake, Gomorra is no copycat version of some other gangster film or series; it is the evolution of the genre, something we haven't seen perhaps since Un Prophète (2009) by Jacques Audiard.
Gomorra makes The Sopranos look as phony as Happy Days. With the feel of a filmed-on-location documentary, in this Italian series everyone looks exactly like who they are supposed to be. The locations in Napoli are grimy and grittyhardly the Under the Tuscan Sun vision of Italy and definitely not the invented suburban fantasy gangster-land of The Sopranos. The gun battles have an air of realistic mayhem seldom seen in movies and almost never on TV. Gomorra is desperate shootouts, filthy prisons, and a penetrating look at the Southern Italian underworld. What more could you ask for?
I didn't mean to disrespect The Sopranos because this series borrows heavily from that American original as well as the works of Tarantino. In the first scene there is a banal conversation between two hoods as one of them complains about his daughter's obsession with Facebook, a matter the middle-aged hit-man and parent knows nothing about. Even in this mundane and seemingly innocuous bit of dialogue we get a glimpse of the vision of Ciro, a mid-level thug. And off we go into the night, both literally and figuratively.
Gomorra doesn't fall into the black hole like The Sopranos of going into the lives of the family members, a mistake now made in countless new TV series in what I call the Meadow Soprano Effect. The mafia guys all have families, as we are shown, but they don't bother much with the details and good for that. If I wanted to watch a show about family life I wouldn't be watching a crime series. In addition, there are no half hour blocks of boredom like when Tony talked with his doctor.
My big regret is that I don't speak Italian, or whatever version of that language these guys speak in the streets of Napoli. Instead I had to get by on French subtitles. Thankfully, my street French had already got a big shot in the arm with the French series Braquo.
The series avoids the gangster movie clichés and instead invents of few new ones which will probably soon be repeated by other filmmakers. Centering on Ciro, the mob boss's top henchman, we get an insider's view of the daily operations of the crime world of this city, sometimes glamorous, other times mundane, but always fascinating.
Whoever was responsible for the locations needs a place in film heaven. The portrayal of the family life in the mob is done well without the annoying side-tracks of The Sopranos with episodes dedicated to their tedious children. Just enough for verisimilitude and that's all.
Constructive Criticism. I won't back down from my rating of 10 because the series deserves that just on appearance. It looks so real and few movies I have seen come anywhere close to the verisimilitude of Gomorra. With that said there is little or no exposition for most of the violence portrayed. There is simply a paroxysm of gun blasts and someone (or many people) is dead. There is little in the way of "why" for a lot of the action sequences. I'd rather have a lot less violence with a better story to explain what is there.
In addition, there needs to be someone approaching the part of likable, someone we actually care about. I gave up on Ciro after the murder of the young girl.
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