Italians have their superhero too. He is Gabriele Mainetti. Director,
actor, musician and producer, especially the latter thing. After many
doors slammed on his face, he decides to produce his first feature film
on his own, with the support of "Rai Cinema".
"This movie does not work," they say. "This movie has hit the box
office!” we hope he said to producers who have refused his work,
and now they kick themselves.
Therefore, “Lo chiamavano Jeeg Robot" became the Italian
phenomenon of the year, an absolute masterpiece and a movie that could
lead the rebirth of Italian genre cinema. Yes, the film is nice, but do
The revival of Italian genre is already underway, led by so many
independent directors who work well, knowing history and refreshing it.
However, “Lo Chiamavano Jeeg Robot” is a real phenomenon of
the year is true thanks to the fact that it is between many Italian
films with a catchy titles. There was a person at the University who
was usually goes around with the ugliest, nerd classmates. He goes
everywhere with the, at the disco, at the pub. The explanation of this
choice was that, in his opinion, if you go around with people worse
than you do and if you are not Brad Pitt, you figure out that you are
the coolest person of the group. Then there are some Brad Pitts around,
but in Italy, unfortunately, there are few directors (the Brad Pitt)
who can prove to be like excellent talents.
Therefore, "Lo Chiamavano Jeeg Robot" is a pretty, different movie, not the masterpiece that many have seen.
It should be recognized that Gabriele Mainetti knows the matter well.
He has a very interesting cinema and writing ideas (look at the scenes
at the beginning and at end) and he knows comic, Anime, and all the
American superheroes (not like the good Salvatore of "Il ragazzo
invisibile"). In addition, he is smart, ironic.
For our good fortune, his superhero does not mock the Americans but he
lives his reality. Rome. Tor Della Monaca area. The most interesting
idea of all. Because if you're a little poor criminal in a difficult
area and you find out that you have the super powers the first thing
you do is steal an ATM, the second it’s buy things you want and
the third it’s robber an armored. Of course, you did not plan the
“Great robbery” or raid the Vatican Museums.
As for the irony that accompanies all this long film is well studied
and touches the genre and other Italian realities ("Gomorra" above
all). Finally, Mainetti gives us blood, sex and criticism of the desire
to appear in this society.
Little talk about "Gomorra" here in a beautiful scene and with
Salvatore "Genny" Esposito. Dear Salvatore, we do not know what you
want to do in life, whether you enjoy the wave of this character or
whether you want to be an actor. In the second case, you should stop
from interpreting “Genny” every time, because the roles
glue on actors and then you cannot leave it anymore. You will end up
doing the character, role of great respect, but no one in Italy use it
Returning to the film and leaving this aspect of comics, Mainetti tells
us, like so many, about the suburbs, about borderline life, and about
people who would like a ransom or redeem it as the protagonist. A
simple thing views many times and since many years and a bit banal if,
we want, but interesting thanks to an original frame and made good by
the three main actors.
Claudio Santamaria our Jeeg, interprets with perfect disenchantment and
cold Enzo Ceccotti a boy from Tor Della Monaca, who lives alone, eats
only yoghurt or puddings, lives with small thefts and watch Porn DVD
Next to him there is the newcomer Ilenia Pastorelli, Alessia, who makes
the Roman pleb, with severe psychic problems due to repeated sexual
abuse by his father Sergio and some social workers. She plays a good
character, but we did not know she came from the "Big Brother" where
some say she was already a Roman pled. Only time will tell us if she
was herself or if she is a talented actor.
Finally yet importantly, there is Luca Marinelli, Fabio Cannizzaro
better known as "Lo Zingaro", the villain. Chosen because different
from the iconography of the bad guys of the Italian TV series or a
movie (like “Romanzo Criminale”) creates a perfect
character, interpreted with extreme skill. A very theatrical character
halfway between the parody of a villain and Joker of "Batman".
His main goal is to gain likes, to have visualizations, to tell to be
proud of being at an Italian TV Show hoping to "flee" from the
kennel where he lives in.
On their three, everything develops and changes, sacrificing Alessia,
the only character that does not evolve but which is fundamental to the
evolution of the hero, like another woman and her daughter. It was
frankly (and unfortunately, we add) was the only and classic narrative
possibility. Because or she become a heroine too or she recover from
her mental problems thanks to the hero she found on her way.
We told about Enzo Ceccotti that appears for the first time ran away
from two cops after a little theft in a shocked Rome under
terrorist’s attacks. He finishes in the Tiber and in a toxic
trash bin (yes, Mainetti knows also " Toxic Avenger") and during a job
for the “Lo Zingaro’s” gang with Sergio, dad of
Alessia, he find his incredible superpowers. Sergio dies, Lo Zingaro
tries to find Sergio and Alessia grow fond with Enzo, discovering his
super powers call him Jeeg as the hero of the cartoons who she watch
repeatedly and who, according to her, will come to save her. Between
the two, there is a similar relationship, apart from the age, of "Leon"
Jeeg, as he said, begins to exploit this strength stealing an ATM,
armor and breaking Zingaro's plans who must give some money to a
Neapolitan clan to whose chief sings an Anna Oxa's song in the birthday
party. The fury between Roman and Neapolitans triggers classic blood,
while Enzo slowly changes the vision of life thanks to Alessia.
The girl is kidnapped, as in this in genre, is killed in a clash
between the Neapolitan clan and Zingaro, dives into the Tiber and also
acquires super powers.
At our humble opinion, the film had to finish here. Because the rest
seems to suffer from a lack of ideas, in terms of history and behind
the camera. Except for the extraordinary moment in which Zingaro kills
dancing the Neapolitan clan and apart from the final scene, Mainetti
dangerously threatens to cliché
Lo Zingaro wants to make the world's biggest bang and blow up the
Olympic stadium during the football match AC Roma-SS Lazio. This gives
rise to an equal struggle with Jeeg. A somewhat absurd duel between
people who don’t’ see quite anything.
Beyond some mistake, however, the mission of "Lo Chiamavano Jeeg" was
successful. It is not the superhero of cinema, but a good fun well