LORO (2018)


Story & Directed By: Paolo Sorrentino
Written By: Paolo Sorrentino & Umberto Contarello
Cinematography: Luca Bigazzi
Editor: Cristiano Travaglioli 

Cast: Tom Servillo, Elena Sofia Ricci, Riccardo Scamarico, Kasia Smutniak, Euridice Axen, Alice Pagani, Fabrizio Bentivoglio 

During a tumultuous period in the career of Silvio Berlusconi, as his marriage to second wife Veronica Lario fractures, LORO speculates on what may or may not have taken place behind closed doors, depicting a wide variety of characters from multiple levels of society and their attempts to either ingratiate or distance themselves from him.


Internationally this film was shown in two parts. Here this is the condescended version that has trimmed about an hour worth of scenes. Though based in other reviews this might be the best version to watch. As the film doesn’t feel as indulgent.

As the film starts off it seems simple until soon it seems to graduate into a no holds barred bacchanal with quick cuts and the film feels all over the place with pleasures of plenty of drugs, flesh, sex all over the place that feels overpowering or too much as it might wear itself out. When it comes to indulgence but it all looks beautiful no matter what and a perfect introduction to a tale of perversity and corruption. As politics equals strength and power more than money.

As what money can bring you at times seems to be what everyone is seeking. Even if not eternal happiness. This kind of happiness lasts long enough to forget your problems for the moment as you know things will be eternally perfect it be able to stay that way.

The film begins with the story of a con man and general pimp. Even though he calls himself a manager. Using all he has within his power of ex excess to gain entry into an already corruptable system of government. Where he might actually not be prepared and actually overwhelmed on a new vigorously playing field.

The film then pretty much switches to his prey the prime minister Berlusconi who is staying at a house across from his. Planned by the pimp of course. Who is trying to wait out a decision that looks bad for him politically. He is a womanizer and corrupt, but also a very rich man who bought his way into politics and power yet tries to give off an image of a friend to the working man and fighter for the people (sound familiar) we get to know him and his view on the world. He is a natural born politician with a permanent smile in his face.

From here he takes over the film. Where we see characters from the first act appear but mostly come and go. To kind of break up the films acts The film slows down when it switches to the politician not as flashy or exploitive. As we know the pitches we get to know him and his surroundings as well as relationships. While he stays in his lair more a sedate surrounding and his true thoughts. As at first he tries to save his failing marriage. Though these scenes are dirty in their own way. They are also grand and surreal.

The politician and the pimp are both over their heads, but believe they are always in control. Even as they sneak looks at each other envious a bit of the other side. It Comes easy for both of them.

Where these scenes of excess with the women play more like surreal music videos. The later parts are more A kind of character study.

As the film begins it seems inevitable for the two characters to meet like a romantic comedy with effort. As they eventually meet cute and try to maintain a relationship. As one seeks the other. But seem to need each other to a degree, but it ends up like the women the pimp employs and uses. He learns what it is like to be used and exploited. As he is soon forgotten as soon as his use is up. As the film pretty much also get’s rid of him.

As promised Made are never returned and has to come to an end. As even in a dream you have to wake up to reality. A small cog in the grand scheme of things because after the first 30 minutes. The pimp pretty much disappears.

The film slowly becomes about worth and being willing to be bought or sold, owned or kept. For all the joys the beginning offers, where it feels like rule breaking. As another character comments “It’s all so pathetic and sad”

While the film showcases corruption. It also takes a certain joy in exposing it and exploiting it. While reveling in it. Just like the characters it seeks to showcase.

Kind of it’s own SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS but more willing and with no center of decency. The film showcases beautiful locations but not that many. Still the film feels like an epic.

This is a full meal of a film with several courses of diverging tastes and intensity. As the film is many things at once. An erotic dream a satire in true events. An almost biblical confidence fight.

Though the politics in this movie are from Italy at least 10 years Ago for Americans it can feel familiar of our current politics and president. A rich man known for excess buys his government seat and is dirty and hate being a politician but loves lining his pocket and puts on a show for the cameras.

After awhile the film and him seem to take a look at his life and relationships. Making it feel like that initial rush was to give the audience what they wanted, that rush and physical debauchery. Not usually involving the politician and to get it out of the way. Not To mention showcase what rumors of what he was supposed into. Before becoming more of a drama. it is essentially entertainment through politics.

Grade: B+

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