a father, a daughter and a drama. Good intentions but little incisiveness for Alessandro Grande’s debut

The only Italian title in competition at the Torino Film Festival, Grande is a drama tinged with yellow and set in an unusual Calabria, starring Francesco Montanari and Ginevra Francesconi in the roles of a father and a daughter who must face a sudden trauma that will transform the their relationship.

In Regina there are a father and a daughter. They are alone, and they are very close.
She dreams of becoming a singer, he abandoned that dream to be close to her when her mother died, and her dream has now become that of her daughter. They live in the Calabrian province, in an unprecedented, wintery, wooded, lakeside Calabria. A fascinating Calabria, which seems almost the Friuli of Girl by the lake.
And, coincidentally, right on the waters of that lake, in the first minutes of the film, an event takes place destined to be central in the life of the characters and the story of the film.
Regina and Luigi – this is the name of the characters played by Ginevra Francesconi e Francesco Montanari – on that lake they went fishing, and what happens is that, returning with their boat, they unwittingly run over a diver who, for some reason, was diving into those waters, killing him. It will be to defend his daughter, who was at the helm at the time of the accident, that Luigi will impose silence on that tragic event: but, in doing so, he will increasingly clearly break that important bond he had with her.

Alessandro Grande (who wrote this film together with Mariano Di Nardo) has awarded short films behind him, and here he is making his debut in the long run. With Regina he guesses atmospheres, some images, the characters (even with the help of the two protagonists), a sense of widespread precariousness and suffocated pain.
His attempt, of course, is to never tread the hand, to be liquid in the story, in the staging, in the description of moods and crises of conscience that are not at all unprecedented in the cinema, but which are often told with a desire to delve into the drama and malaise that often prove to be excessive.
Its goal is not to put two protagonists (or rather, only one of the two) before their moral responsibilities, even before legal ones: it is to tell the crisis of a relationship, and of the only thing that can strengthen it. Of an ideal separation useful for a growth gap: and not only of the daughter, but also and above all of the father.

The problem, however, is that in Regina all this is very obvious indeed. And the characters actually have a very short evolutionary arc, told in an extremely dilated way, uselessly stuffed with some not very incisive subplots. And that their transformation – which is that of Regina, first, and of Luigi, then, at the extremes of the story – takes place in a relaxed and sudden way together.
And that the urge to Great of being liquid and light makes its gaseous film become too same, and impalpable. Evanescent. Linear and a little anonymous.

The cameo of Brunori SAS, who appears in the role of himself as had already happened in The Guest by Duccio Chiarini.


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