At first, this film can be disorienting. We do not realize what Antonello Grimaldi has prepared for us. In fact, the director takes us for a magical tour of a city that probably adopted him, as well as so many other masters of the Italian cinema, coming, as he does from Sassari, Sardinia. Yet, the adopted child has his own voice. He wants to show us what must be routine from anyone that calls Rome home.
If there is a central figure, it must be the man one first meets while running in the rooftop of his building that overlooks the city. This man keeps appearing at different times, sort of like an eavesdropper that is always around, although not judgmental. The vignettes presented are full of humor, like those involving the postman, the traffic police woman, even the mechanic that overcharges clients, or the taxi driver that is not on duty, but is ordered to take the exasperating executive type to where he wants to go, no matter what.
The chaotic world that is lived in a busy metropolis like Rome, is examined by Mr. Grimaldi with equal amounts of patience, resignation and love. His style, it has been noted, reminds us of Robert Altman, but the comparison does not come close to the reality. Mr. Grimaldi's loosely told stories are just glimpses of characters he probably has known, or met, at one point of his life.
The film is almost a Who's-who in the Italian cinema. Stars such as Silvio Orlando, Asia Argento, Margherita Buy, Francesca Neri, Monica Belucci, Enrico Loverso, Antonio Catania, Gianmarco Tognazzi, are only a few of the people that populate this densely packed film. Alessandro Pesci captured brilliantly the eternal city. Enzo Favata contributes with a fine musical score. The screenplay, if there was ever one, is credited to Daniele Caserano and Paolo Marchesini.
Indeed, this was a great day in Rome thanks to the vision of Antonello Grimaldi!
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