PLAYMAKER
The Playmaker
Let's play
PLAYMAKER
  • It's Monday
    What day is it?
  • Now
    What time is it?
  • Anywhere in Brisbane
    Where are you?
  • What do you feel like?
    What do you feel like?
  • And what else?
    And what else?
  • LET'S PLAY
22° & CLOUDY ON MONDAY 9 DECEMBER IN BRISBANE
By Sarah Ward
June 22, 2015
  shares

The Mafia Only Kills in Summer

This dramedy is far from your usual Italian mafia movie.
By Sarah Ward
June 22, 2015
  shares

When it comes to film and TV depictions of a certain European country shaped like a boot, as well as its island offshoot, one topic has proven unavoidable. That'd be the mafia, known as the Cosa Nostra in Sicily, and responsible for many a movie cliche about folks of Italian descent. And that's what filmmaker and comedian Pierfrancesco Diliberto, or Pif, wants to call to attention to.

Leaping from his homeland's television screens to making his feature writing and directing debut, Pif plays Arturo, a life-long Palermo resident who can't escape the city's criminal underbelly. In fact, he owes his conception to a gunfight on his parents' wedding night, and the first word he ever uttered was mafia.

Of course, growing up in the 1970s and 1980s when Toto Riina (Antonio Alveario) bombed, shot and otherwise disposed of his law-abiding enemies and similarly insidious rivals alike, Arturo's connection with gangland antics doesn't end there. As a boy (Alex Bisconti), mob activities constantly interfere with his obsession with his pretty classmate, Flora (Ginevra Antona). As an adult, trying to carve out a career on television while still chasing the girl of his dreams (Cristiana Capotondi), his efforts are shaped by continued violence and corruption.

The film's title comes from the reassurance his father offers to soothe Arturo's childhood worries about increasing bloodshed and rising body counts; however, The Mafia Only Kills In Summer isn't as flippant as that line and the movie's romantic comedy leanings may indicate. Humour may be Pif's primary form of expression, but there's never any doubt that he's cultivating laughs from dramatic circumstances for a variety of reasons: as a coping mechanism, as recognition of the commonplace nature of crime at the time, to bring the mob bosses and those who aided their reign of terror down a few pegs, and as a way to subvert the usual Italian stereotypes.

The task he sets himself, starring, helming and co-scripting as he does, is considerable — and sometimes, it does seem too much for one person to bear. What the warmly shot The Mafia Only Kills In Summer boasts in earnest intentions and intelligent satire, it sometimes lacks in its mix of tones and plots. Some sections charm, the coming-of-age focus of the first half for example. Others feel too easy, such as the eventual conclusion. And in an attempt to include as many instances of actual gang-caused carnage as possible, much is crammed in and skimmed over.

Having ample ambition and being feverishly passionate about getting its many points across isn't a bad thing, though, and even when the film is a bit too clumsy or relies too heavily on convenience, the strength of its message shines through. Well, that, and the likeable lead's unlikely love letter to his real-life birthplace and his resilient compatriots. No, this isn't your usual Italian mafia movie.

  •   shares
      shares

NEARBY PLACES

  • List
  • Map

SIMILAR EVENTS

  • List
  • Map

NEARBY EVENTS

  • List
  • Map

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x