Santamaria and Noon in the gym of mysteries, Shazam on the attack and 8 other films not to be missed at the cinema or in streaming
PHYSICAL EDUCATION. In the halls
Pay attention to the pedigree: Physical education a play by Giorgio Scianna, The gym, adapted for the cinema by the brothers Fabio and Damiano D'Innocenzovisionary authors of Tales And Latin America, as if to say: the most intriguing point of view of the new Italian cinema. The director Stefano Cipani, born in Sal, born in 1986: he made himself known with My brother chases dinosaurs (2019) from the book by Giacomo Mazzariol. Therefore, a well-laid table with important themes: dysfunctions of the school system, education and a sense of responsibility in free fall, intermittent respect for the law. And, again: the difficult relationships between parents and children, male and female, bullies and bullied.
Cipani works on the text like an entomologist, with the scientific method favored by a story that is a claustrophobic drama, a game of massacre in which three families of opposite profiles and distant social backgrounds are involved. Crazy people, that we will discover scum hidden by a respectable veil. Bad examples and bad teachers of their children. The film analyzes their reactions in an emergency situation: the lambs become wild beasts and the bank jumps.
It soon becomes clear that something is wrong when the parents of three eighth graders are summoned to the dilapidated gymnasium by the principal (Giovanna Mezzogiorno). The most agitated of the group is the fixer Franco (Claudio Santamaria), the one who has the money and thinks he can fix everything with it. Franco has no time to waste. Cristian's father is a real estate developer, a speculator, a serial liar and a traitor. And he has an affair with Carmen (Raffaella Rea), Giordano's single mother. The meek Aldo (Sergio Rubini), the hospital admission man, husband of Rossella (Angela Finocchiaro) and father of Arsen, of African origin. They had no natural children. He calls her love, she considers the boy the compensation for a life sacrificed.
Imagine what happens when the principal informs the group that a schoolmate accuses Cristian, Giordano and Arsen of raping her. There is also a video of the sad story. Dismay, disbelief. The principal gathered the parents in the gymnasium of the rape, among other things repeated, to anticipate their intention to report the fact. The four feel cornered and go on the attack. They chase the woman, try to pass the victim off as a brazen hooker. They ask for silence by showing money.
What happens in the second half of the film, the least successful, we leave it to the viewer to discover. The need to find a way out, whatever the cost, leads Physical education on the moral thriller, confrontation / confrontation track. The defense of the four parents crumbles in front of the integrity of the principal, who for her cannot resist the accusations of those possessed: she gets scared and loses control. The kids are never seen. The masks fall off, the nerves give out. Individual behaviors lose logic, there are no rules that hold.
The survival instinct prevails, in the name of which even so different people can find common ground. cipani puts pace and calibrates the explosive charge of the dialogues but struggles to keep up with the plausibility of the situations and to transfer the theatrical plot into a cinematic fabric up to par. Why does the principal, so wise, upright and self-confident, involve her parents before calling the police? It must be said that the virtues of the film, shot in sequence to underline the truth of the actions rather than the judicial plot and to enhance the emotional dynamics of the story, lie on another side. Shooting in sequence, Cipani underlines the movement of consciences and the theatrical aspect of the stagingthe winning part, bringing the four actors, all good and convinced, to act just as if they were on a stage.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION by Stefano Cipani
(Italy, 2022, duration 88')
with Angela Finocchiaro, Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Raffaella Rea, Sergio Rubini, Claudio Santamaria
Rating: *** out of 5
In the halls
March 18, 2023 | 08:25
(©) REPRODUCTION RESERVED