Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
New SWITCHCast episode out now! Click here to listen to interviews with 'Rockabul's' Travis Beard and 'Thunder Road's' Jim Cummings.x
review, Piranhas, Piranhas, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Francesco Di Napoli, Ar Tem, Viviana Aprea, Pasquale Marotta, Claudio Giovannesi, Crime, Drama

PIRANHAS

★★★★

BOYS WILL BE BOYS

SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Charlie David Page
18th May 2019

For those of you hoping this would be a sequel to the 1978 horror film ‘Piranhas’, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. Whilst lacking the literal vicious fishes, the story instead centres on a pack of 15-year-old boys who would do anything for their friends, misled by the allure of wealth and notoriety.

Nicola (Francesco Di Napoli) is a 15-year-old boy living in Naples, Italy. He kills time by running amok around town with his friends. When allured by brand name clothes and access to €500-or-table access to a nightclub to impress girls, the boys begin selling weed around the city. However, they quickly fall further into the gang culture, and their criminal activities escalate. When Nicola decides to break out from under their boss, they claim his area of Sanità as their own turf, with their own naïve views on how things should be run. But what starts out as a bit of fun soon becomes deadly serious as guns, money and rival gangs take hold.

'PIRANHAS' TRAILER

The format of the film gels together a typical three-act structure with a fly-on-the-wall observational drama. This permits a few unusual qualities - there’s a realism to the film which provides real stakes for our protagonists, whilst still enabling a cinematically spectacular style.

There’s also great attention to detail made to the characterisation of the boys; by concerning itself with class, consumerism and youth, the film brews these elements together into a powerful and potent snapshot of adolescence today. They’re teenagers, just boys, who cockily envelop themselves in a world they believe they’re ready for but don’t entirely understand. We witness their boy pack mentality go from immature, bad ideas to ‘Lord of the Flies’-style warfare. There’s no thought of consequence, of right or wrong, of the future, only of here and now.

Naples is captured on camera precisely the way I remember it: ancient, grimy and rough. Daytime is stark and desaturated, while night sees centuries-old stone buildings splashed with artificial yellow light. In stark contrast, we’re presented with garish Italian lavishness inside the gang leader’s homes, gold and glitz hidden from the eyes of the city. The film also features visually emblemic moments within the film. A sequence early on of the boys chanting semi-naked around a bonfire or learning to fire guns under the veil of fireworks is chilling. In contrast, one shot of three motorbikes riding tandem, hauling loads of red helium balloons against an almost monochrome city is striking, beautiful, and childlike.

They’re teenagers, just boys, who cockily envelop themselves in a world they believe they’re ready for but don’t entirely understand.

With the bulk of the cast 15-year-olds, many of ‘Piranha’s’ stars are featuring in their film debut - making the realistic quality of the film all the more impressive. Di Napoli is more than capable of carrying this film on his shoulders, presenting Nicola as an increasingly dark, matter-of-fact kid who tackles life’s issues nonchalantly as they present themselves. Pasquale Marotta is also impressive as Agustino, Nicola’s close friend, and offers one of the most thoughtful, contemplative performances from the gang.

Although these boys are on the cusp of manhood, ‘Piranhas’ still feels like you’re watching kids fighting in the sandpit, only someone has given them firearms. As the circular pattern of death and retribution become commonplace in their young lives, the idealistic views of control over their turf becomes increasingly murky, and thoughts of salvation turns to survival. It’s genuine enough to fear the consequences, but powerful enough to ensure the entertainment doesn’t wane. ‘Piranhas’ combines the folly of youth, the frailty of idealism, and the power of fate into a tale of brothers damned from the beginning.

FAST FACTS
AKA: La Paranza Dei Bambini
RELEASE DATE: TBA
RUN TIME: 1h 45m
CAST: Francesco Di Napoli
Ar Tem
Viviana Aprea
Pasquale Marotta
DIRECTOR: Claudio Giovannesi
WRITERS: Roberto Saviano
Claudio Giovannesi
Maurizio Braucci
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Looking for more Sydney Film Festival reviews? Click here to check out our collection of this year's highlights.
Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion - An almighty family animation adventure
TRENDINGWIN ASTERIX: THE SECRET OF THE MAGIC POTIONAn almighty family animation adventure
Triple Threat - The world's biggest action stars combined
TRENDINGWIN TRIPLE THREATThe world's biggest action stars combined
Red Joan - Judy Dench's spy drama
TRENDINGWIN RED JOANJudy Dench's spy drama
What Men Want - The power of the mind
TRENDINGWIN WHAT MEN WANTThe power of the mind
My Big Gay Italian Wedding - Fall in love with this feed-good romantic comedy
TRENDINGWIN MY BIG GAY ITALIAN WEDDINGFall in love with this feed-good romantic comedy
Aladdin - A whole new world of suffering
TRENDINGALADDINA whole new world of suffering
NT Live: All About Eve - A powerful stage adaptation of a cinema classic
TRENDINGNT LIVE: ALL ABOUT EVEA powerful stage adaptation of a cinema classic
Rocketman - A fascinating musical biopic that never finds its feet
TRENDINGROCKETMANA fascinating musical biopic that never finds its feet
Top End Wedding - Outback fantastic
TRENDINGTOP END WEDDINGOutback fantastic
2040 - A hopeful look into our environmental future
TRENDING2040A hopeful look into our environmental future
Back of the Net - Misses the net, and then some
TRENDINGBACK OF THE NETMisses the net, and then some
Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion - 60 years on, Asterix is as fresh as ever
TRENDINGASTERIX: THE SECRET OF THE MAGIC POTION60 years on, Asterix is as fresh as ever
The Wind - A paranoid Western nightmare
TRENDINGTHE WINDA paranoid Western nightmare
Apollo 11 - A transcendent journey to the Moon
TRENDINGAPOLLO 11A transcendent journey to the Moon
In Fabric - The best worst film ever?
TRENDINGIN FABRICThe best worst film ever?
Yuli - Dancing on a knife's edge
TRENDINGYULIDancing on a knife's edge
25 km/h - A supremely easygoing German comedy
TRENDING25 KM/HA supremely easygoing German comedy
The Heiresses - An escape from the gilded cage of privilege
TRENDINGTHE HEIRESSESAn escape from the gilded cage of privilege
My Big Gay Italian Wedding - A ridiculously fun love story
TRENDINGMY BIG GAY ITALIAN WEDDINGA ridiculously fun love story
Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders - Your new playmates
TRENDINGJACK LADDER & THE DREAMLANDERSYour new playmates
© 2011 - 2019 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us