The Last Paradiso review: a promising film with fleeting greatness

Arnojya Shree expresses her disappointment for Netflix's latest offering

Arnojya Shree
24th February 2021
Image: IMDb
If I'm honest, one of my favourite foreign films is Italian and surpasses all the expectations I ever had from the cinema. So naturally, when I watched The Last Paradiso, I went in with obvious expectations, yet nothing was the way I imagined it to be.

Directed by Rocco Ricciardulli, this Netflix drama draws the 1950s Italian countryside precisely the way anyone would expect. In the middle of a sunny afternoon filled with giggles, two lovers are introduced to us, playing around in the vineyard. Soon after, we are introduced to the film's central theme, painted in blood and revenge.

the filmmaking shines and shimmers for short durations

It's the life long tale of economic differences between the rich & corrupt and exploited & poverty-stricken. But when financial feuds become personal and families get involved, things go in the most unexpected ways for the promiscuous Ciccio, lovelorn Bianca and unethical Cumpà.

The premise set by the film initially appears dull, with the scenes not leaving as much impact they ideally would. With a few visually stunning and poignant shots in places, the filmmaking shines and shimmers for short durations. Yet, the narrative fails to keep up with the direction and appears lazy at times.

Image: IMDb

The story is powerful in places, where sudden twists and turns appear out of nowhere. The cast delivers a similarly intense performance, with the acting skills never to be questioned. It is natural and flawless, almost as if reading a novel in secrecy and watching the events unfold in the back of your mind; wholly occupying.

However, even with beautiful cinematography and brilliant acting, the film struggles to maintain its allure. A slight failure in the narrative, since one only remembers two or three instances which are enjoyable throughout the film. But if silent art films are your kind of thing, this would definitely be a worthwhile watch.

Rating: 2/5

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