The onset of the general elections beckons in my troubled homeland Malaysia, so how better to get into the mood than with a nice spot of anti-police literature - and who better to get it from than the world's most passionate police haters - the Italians. I write from experience, so bugger off, you haters. Stefano Sollima's feature debut is an adaptation of Carlo Bonini's 2009 book, to which I haven't had the literary pleasure since it isn't translated. The film however is a slick cop drama with wide international appeal, though its stance on police vigilantism and use of excessive force is somewhat ambiguous, if not apologetic. We follow five riot police officers in Rome – white pride hardman Cobra (Pierfrancesco Favino), hothead wife-beater Negro (Filippo Nigro), string-along Carletto (Andrea Sartoretti), idealistic rookie Adriano (Domenico Diele) and their dogged leader Mazinga (Marco Giallini). A taste of authentic ultra is added no doubt by the fact that most of these actors are Roman-born.
At a glance:
|In A.C.A.B. Cobra's (Pierfrancesco Favino) body is decorated with a Celtic cross |
and his room wall with Mussolini paraphernalia.
|Eradis Josende Oberto|
plays a Cuban wife.
Bad news on the doorstep:
|A.C.A.B. = Roma Victor!|
I can't remember if I cried:The balcony scene with Filippo Nigro's anti-establishment monologue has been singled out as the film's most powerful play but I feel the most for Favino's Cobra. His body is decorated with a Celtic cross and room wall with Mussolini paraphernalia, but finds himself alone in hummin the tune that was supposed to drum up the camaraderie that once held his brethren together. This quiet scene, in a police van en route to yet another bust-up, defines the movie for me.
A.C.A.B. Check out the movie's official website (in Italian) and it's very decorated Facebook page for more details.★★★
Bonus material:Lots of movie stills and behind-the-scenes shots for you. Photo credit Emanuela Scarpa.
|Director Stefano Sollima in Naples to promote the film.|
Pierfrancesco Favino on his character Cobra: "E' stata dura interpretare il mio personaggio, soprattutto dal punto di vista psicologico. Entrare in una situazione mentale cosi lontana, verso la quale tutti abbiamo pregiudizi. Una bella sfida!"