21 October 2017 | TheLittleSongbird
Montalbano in his youth
Love 'Inspector Montalbano' and feel that it does a great job bringing freshness to a well-worn genre (not intended as a bad thing, love crime/mystery drama but there's a lot out there with familiar tropes to each other).
Was not sure how its prequel series 'The Young Montalbano' would fare when hearing of it. It sounded interesting to see the great 'Inspector Montalbano' characters in their youth, but also questioned the necessity. With that being said, had mixed expectations before watching 'Endeavour', the prequel series to one of my favourites 'Inspector Morse' and it ended up nearly as great. The same goes for 'The Young Montalbano', it must have been no easy feat to live up to such a good show and have a younger actor for the title character filling in very big shoes but 'The Young Montalbano' manages it splendidly.
Some may question the physical resemblances of the younger cast to 'Inspector Montalbano's' cast for continuity's sake, Mimi is a notable example. To me though, my only complaint is the bland and annoying character of Mery which is a minor thing actually because she's only in a couple of episodes so not enough to bring down the show as an overall whole.
Very like 'Inspector Montalbano', 'The Young Montalbano' is beautifully shot and the scenery is stunning, making those who've never been to Italy want to book a holiday there as soon as possible and is a treat for anybody who loves all things Italian. The scenery as always is atmospheric and the use of it very clever, the locale as always is suitably colourful. The music is never over-bearing or low-key with a nice atmosphere and flavour, a lot of it is very cleverly used. The sound effects are remarkably authentic.
Oh, and something that was neglected to be mentioned by me in my reviews for the show and its individual episodes is how the food is enough to make one salivate over, it looks so delicious and almost too good to eat.
'The Young Montalbano' manages to stay true to what was so good about 'Inspector Montalbano' and is every bit as successful at creating a history that is both incredibly interesting and plausible. The humour is fun, the conflict is tense in a nail-biting way and the drama charms and affects. The characters as their younger selves, for what they lack in physical resemblance, more than make up for that in maintaining the same personalities we know and love the characters for and being just as interesting in development. Even the supporting characters are given a lot of attention.
A great job is done with the storytelling. They are just as well-paced, absorbing, intelligently written and brain-teasing as those of 'Inspector Montalbano', while keeping logic intact and not confusing or alienating the viewer. Generally the denouements feel cooked all the way through and very little is improbable. Also love the humanity that 'The Young Montalbano' has, how things that could easily been mundane actually came over as somewhat poetic and liked how the relationship between Montalbano and Livia was written, very charming and sweet.
The acting is very good, Michele Riondino had a Herculean task filling the shoes of the incomparable Luca Zingaretti but is more than up to the task and does it more than admirably, balancing comedy, drama and intensity with ease. The characters of Mimi and Catatella (the latter having some hilarious moments) are also very well filled.
In conclusion, wonderful, affectionate prequel series that does 'Inspector Montalbano' justice and does more than enough to stand on its own. Should have lasted longer and would have no complaints whatsoever if it was renewed. 10/10 Bethany Cox