Marcello, an expert dog groomer, lives in a grotty seaside village near Rome. He ekes out a meagre living running petty errands for local thieves. But the fragile ecosystem Marcello inhabits is torn to shreds when he falls under the ambit of Simone, a bullying and violent criminal.
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One thing about me is that I no longer have any patience whatever for self-consciously serious or conspicuously classy revenge sagas. I chose not to see DOGMAN as a revenge saga so much as a film about impotence, resentment, and violence as a pollutant. It features a justly heralded lead performance and absolutely exquisite compositions. If I remained at all on the fence, the last two shots swayed me and slayed me.
TIFF '18 Garrone's latest disappoints despite a Cannes winning performance from lead Marcello Fonte. He plays the titular character a man who must make a choice between loyalty to his family and neighbourhood against loyalty to a so-called friend. His choice strains credibility and the film flounders into a revenge tale after that lacking any emotional resonance or air of believability.
Marcello Fonte is superb as the nuanced, buscemi-ish underdog carrying the literally back-breaking burden of loyalty and friendship in this darkly comic, violent tale of the quest for respect. Sublime photography and production design here but I was left hoping for a little more sweeter justice at the end. 4 stars
FNC / Montréal / Entry 1: "Dogman", the latest from italian filmmaker Matteo Garrone is a savage, disturbing and heartbreaking character study. It is a twisted continuation of the eternal struggle between the bully and the bullied. It is like watching a chihuahua trying to measure against a rabid pitbull. This cannot end well. Plus, both Fonte and Pesce are extremely well cast and outstanding to look at. Great film.
A deserving child of Ettore Scola or Pasolini, the film is a radically ferocious and cruel dark comedy that shows how a poor and gentle dogsitter and his desperate quest for respect and dignity amidst his neighbours' obsession with survival and money takes him on an even lonelier path when he fights evil with evil. The beautiful photography makes this tale even more stomach churning. Marcello Fonte is superb.
Fonte is superb as a Chihuahua-size dog groomer who find himself bullied by a "rabid" brute. Garrone returns to Naples' grey outskirts with another piece of social realism which is half docile and tender, half brutal and feral. A mixed breed film which left me a bit cold.