HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Avengers: Endgame
Vanishing Act
Critters Attack!
Prison on Fire
Dragged Across Concrete
Do the Right Thing
Hellboy
Pond Life
Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, The
Third Wife, The
Shazam!
Follow Me
Leto
Fugitive Girls
Missing Link
Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, The
Pet Sematary
Oh... Rosalinda!!
Dumbo
Kaleidoscope
Night Is Short, Walk On Girl
Knight of Shadows: Between Yin and Yang, The
Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich
Klute
Meow
Killer Crocodile
Nutcracker Prince, The
Secret World of Og, The
Benjamin
Fifth Cord, The
Man Could Get Killed, A
Cyborg 009: Kaiju War
Heavy Trip
Nightmare Weekend
Blue Ice
Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday, The
Incident, The
Hell's Angels
Heaven and Earth
Flatliners
   
 
Newest Articles
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
Things Have Changed: Films You'd Be Insane to Make Now
The Hole in the Ground: Director Lee Cronin Interview
She's Missing: Director Alexandra McGuinness Interview
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
   
 
  Dogman Friend To FidosBuy this film here.
Year: 2018
Director: Matteo Garrone
Stars: Marcello Fonte, Edoardo Pesce, Nunzia Schiano, Adamo Dionisi, Francesco Acquaroli, Gianluca Gobbi, Alida Baldara Calabria, Laura Pizzirani, Giancarlo Poracchia, Aniello Arena, Mirko Frezza, Marco Perfetti, Vittorio Russo, Gennaro Iannone
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Marcello (Marcello Fonte) lives in a rundown Italian coastal town where he makes a living as a dog groomer for the pets of the locals: no matter how ill-behaved the pooch, he can calm them down with his cooing and petting, and even the fiercest pitbull will succumb to his soothing way with the creatures. Oddly enough, he has a way with getting on with people in much the same manner, his bravest conquest being Simone, an ex-boxer who turned gangster and is now ruling the deprived area with his thuggish bullying. Marcello, however, counts him as a good pal, though that is down to him feeding him a steady diet of cocaine to keep him placated - but for how long?

Matteo Garrone returned to the themes of real life crime for Dogman, as the director had made his name with that style of film, and this was drawn from a genuine case that shocked Italy - and it takes a lot to shock Italy when it comes to crime. He took the basic outline of the news report and adapted it to his own ends, a study of his country's macho culture and how to survive it, the answer to that being you don't, really, you either join the sharks or accept life as a one of the minnows, though there is always the possibility you can end up as one or the other depending on the circumstances you find yourself in, or the company you moved among. Marcello is a minnow.

There's no doubt about Simone being one of the sharks, either, a less sympathetic villain you would be hard-pressed to identify, certainly in the realm of European crime fiction. He has no redeeming features, and even if you think you're in his good books, that's no guarantee he will treat you well, in fact if you're apt to do him favours he will exploit you as far as he can get away with. This is what Marcello discovers to his cost, and it's the threat of violence that Simone is more than capable of following up that keeps the thug at the top of the tree in what is an impoverished community of cinematic appeal, but not somewhere you would choose to live - or spend five minutes in.

That cinematic appeal comes from the picturesque qualities of decay, and the cinematography from Nicolai BrĂ¼el contained an absorbingly vivid look that ensured we were compelled to keep watching despite being all too aware this was not going to end well for anyone we saw. Marcello had a Charlie Chaplin-esque personality, as many protagonists in Italian movies did down the decades, yet while Chaplin could get out of the state he was in with a well-placed item of slapstick or simply walking away with a shrug of the shoulders, this little man cannot be so adept at escaping his predicament. For a start, Marcello has a young daughter (Alida Baldara Calabria) with his ex-wife who he cannot abandon, though we are aware the more he courts Simone's attention the more peril both he and his daughter could be in.

With Marcello's fellow small business operators in the area complaining louder and louder about Simone yet powerless to stand up to his barbarism, it is clear something has to give, and that something is our mild-mannered hero. Earlier we have witnessed what a nice man he can be when, after a stint as Simone's getaway driver, he goes back to the scene of the crime to rescue a dog trapped in a freezer, but if this was teaching us anything, it was that no matter how decent and easygoing you were, get pushed too far and everyone has their breaking point. But do you turn your destruction inwards or outwards? Is there a difference? The actual case was one of revolting violence, and Gatteo did not go as far as that, but he did get fairly gruesome nevertheless, a cynical view of what a victim does when they can be victimised no more; his ambiguous concluding sequence indicated what isolation results once you give in to your worst impulses. The difference was, Simone didn't give a shit, and poor old Marcello had his compassion to damn him since he had further to tumble into Hell. Music by Michele Braga.

[Curzon's DVD includes a Q&A with director and star (and interpreter). Other extras are a storyboard, deleted scenes and the trailer.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 317 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Darren Jones
   

 

Last Updated: