DOGMAN (2019)


Directed By: Matteo Garrone
Written By: Ugo Chiti, Matteo Garrone, Massimo Gaudiso, Giulio Troli, Fabio D’innocenzo, Damiano D’innocenzo & Marco Perfetti
Story By: Ugo Chiti, Matteo Garrone & Massimo Gaudiso
Cinematography: Nicolaj Bruel
Editor: Marco Spoletini 

Cast: Marcello Fonte, Edoardo Pesce, Adamo Dionisi, Nunzia Schiano Marcello 

a small and gentle dog groomer, finds himself involved in a dangerous relationship of subjugation with Simone, a former violent boxer who terrorizes the entire neighborhood. In an effort to reaffirm his dignity, Marcello will submit to an unexpected act of vengeance. This is really a tale of good versus evil you would think but there are so many grey areas It’s hard to truly describe it that way. As the film comes off as a fable more than anything else.

As our lead loves animals In Fact is a successful dog groomer and a father of a child and sells cocaine on the side to various people In town. Then once his friend gets out of prison it all goes down. As he is dragged and bullied by him into all sorts of schemes.

The film shows the humanity of the lead as he seems to have a conscience abt tries to clean up all the messes his friend causes.

We never find out how this friendship started or why it has lasted this long. As basically the film presents everything from the time it starts we know everyone has a past but we never quite learn about theirs. Other then the fact that Simone is a bully and a loose canon all around.

The film tries to humanize him in one scene after he is shot and Marcello takes him home to his mothers and she discovers drugs On him and they look like they are going to have a heart to heart only for him to use it to distract her from what he really wants and the scene becomes more a comedy.

In another we see him actually be decent to his friend and look out for him and take care of him. Showing some kind of care. Then after a certain incident everything changes. Where no one trusts him in fact they despise him he has to struggle to get by and even his so called friend more or less stays away and won’t give him his proper due.

The film offers surreal imagery and landscapes that are in the background of many scenes that help make it seem more contemplative. Even if the the surroundings are more rundown.

The movie taking place in a small town also gives the film a timeless quality. As it is supposed to be modern times but has a more historic feeling.

The audience might end up wanting more by the end. As you know the film is heading to a collision course between these two characters eventually.

Though throughout we see how he is bullied and threatened. That after awhile it feels like a comeuppance as really his troubles are the result of not standing up to him and even while the film tries to illustrate that the character can sometimes be nice. It still doesn’t quite pass. Though it makes the film less black and white. It would have been stronger if he just stayed constantly bullying him and the character reaches a breaking point.

The third act does get quite inventively violent but the ending while aiming at powerful. Leaves one feeling more sad than anything. As it all comes off pathetic in the end.

It also shows more that the character cared more about what others thought of him. Rather then what he thought of himself. As he always aims to please even in the end. Never quite sticking up or caring about himself.

As the only character who he loves and actually cares about him is his daughter and their scenes are the most precious and the most pure scenes of the movie.


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