Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
Joel interviews the MIFF team to find out what's in this year's program announcement! Click to listen to our special SWITCHCast ep now.x
review, The Traitor, The, Traitor, 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, Pierfrancesco Favino, Maria Fernanda Cândido, Fabrizio Ferracane, Fausto Russo Alesi, Luigi Lo Cascio, Bruno Cariello, Giovanni Calcagno, Rosario Palazzolo, Nicola Calì, Vincenzo Pirrotta, Marco Bellocchio, Biography, Crime, Drama

THE TRAITOR

★★★

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT IN SICILY

ST. ALI ITALIAN FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Jake Watt
4th October 2020

The mafia has been a source of some of the best stories in film history for filmmakers. The drama, action, and moral dilemmas the characters face always keep viewers on the edge of their seats wanting more. The best mobster movies are full of violence and memorable mafia bosses. They cross cultural and international boundaries, and explore and test theories of cinema, playing with the audience's preconceived notions of narrative and perspective.

Marco Bellocchio's 'The Traitor' centres around the legendary informant Tommaso Buscetta (Pierfrancesco Favino, 'My Cousin Rachel'), who turned on his former accomplices. Buscetta probably had a bigger impact than any snitch in history. The information he gave to legendary prosecutor Giovanni Falcone (played here by Fausto Russo Alesi) set off a chain of events that has left Sicily's Cosa Nostra with a fraction of its former power and influence. Buscetta's disclosures prompted the "maxi-trial" of 1986-92 and the conviction of 338 mafiosi. In reprisal, Cosa Nostra assassinated Falcone, unleashing an unprecedented crackdown on the Sicilian Mafia that resulted in the arrest of the "boss of bosses", Salvatore "Totò" Riina, and a string of his lieutenants, including Riina's closest associate, Bernardo Provenzano.

'THE TRAITOR' TRAILER

In 1980, the film's title cards tell us, Palermo is "the world capital of heroin," and being fought over by two factions: the old guard of Palermo, and the new clan in nearby Corleone. Bellocchio sets the tone in the opening scene - dark and gloomy, a deep sense of foreboding emphasised by the glow of torchlight on the beach, the shadows carried inside the mansion where everyone watches one another with suspicious eyes. In order to step back from the tension brewing on the Palermo streets, Buscetta and his third wife Cristina (Maria Fernanda Cândido) move to live out their days in Rio de Janeiro. The civil war in Sicily rages, with some of Buscetta's sons killed. Eventually, Buscetta is captured by Brazilian police, tortured and extradited back to Italy. Once there, the film abruptly transitions into a melodramatic courtroom drama where he turns on the mob he once knew as kin.

In these courtroom scenes, the case is made that Buscetta is not betraying the mob because there's no such thing as the mafia. That's an invention by the media. There is such a thing as the Cosa Nostra, however. And they were men of honour. It's a semantic argument which is cemented in Buscetta's perspective. Favino's performance keeps the cerebral tone and manages to sustain the audience's intrigue with a compelling study of the anti-hero perspective.

The many scenes of shady wheelings-and-dealings and farcical courtroom arguments are broken up by some beautifully-filmed scenes of violence.

The many scenes of shady wheelings-and-dealings and farcical courtroom arguments are broken up by some beautifully-filmed scenes of violence. These include an execution in a warehouse full of mirrors, an explosion on a bridge that is filmed from the back seat of a car as it is flung into the air, and Buscetta being questioned by Brazilian police as he is made to watch his wife dangle from a helicopter, screaming in terror.

It's a consistently alluring watch. Vladan Radovic's cinematography captures powerful people and the captivating presence that comes with money. He presents them in deep shadows mingled with swaths of sharp light that evoke the shimmering plastic of dolls, similarly untouchable.

Bellocchio and his three co-screenwriters overwhelm the viewer with mounds of names, dates and places. 'The Traitor' requires more than a passing familiarity with the real-life story that inspired it. We never get to see Buscetta's rise through through the ranks, only catching glimpses of his storied past in a series of flashbacks peppered throughout the movie - especially during his tête-à-têtes with Falcone.

Despite the intimidating sprawl of its narrative, 'The Traitor' presents an interesting knot of a character for the audience to unravel as they watch the confessions of a traitor revealing the mafia's darkest secrets.

FAST FACTS
AKA: Il Traditore
RELEASE DATE: TBA
RUN TIME: 2h 33m
CAST: Pierfrancesco Favino
Maria Fernanda Cândido
Fabrizio Ferracane
Fausto Russo Alesi
Luigi Lo Cascio
Bruno Cariello
Giovanni Calcagno
Rosario Palazzolo
Nicola Calì
Vincenzo Pirrotta
DIRECTOR: Marco Bellocchio
WRITERS: Marco Bellocchio
Valia Santella
Ludovica Rampoldi
Francesco Piccolo
PRODUCER: Beppe Caschetto
SCORE: Nicola Piovani
TheTraitorMovie
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Umbrella Home Entertainment Prize Pack - Get copies of Gunda, King Otto and Relic to enjoy at home!
TRENDINGWIN UMBRELLA HOME ENTERTAINMENT PRIZE PACKGet copies of Gunda, King Otto and Relic to enjoy at home!
Cosmic Sin - A film that delivers on the promise of its title
TRENDINGCOSMIC SINA film that delivers on the promise of its title
Pocahontas - 25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
TRENDINGPOCAHONTAS25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
Revisiting 'Dark City' 20 years later - The most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
TRENDINGREVISITING 'DARK CITY' 20 YEARS LATERThe most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
The Keeper - The true story of the Nazi goalkeeper and the English girl
TRENDINGTHE KEEPERThe true story of the Nazi goalkeeper and the English girl
Jungle Cruise - Sailing into a new Disney classic adventure
TRENDINGJUNGLE CRUISESailing into a new Disney classic adventure
The World at War - The landmark documentary series restored in high definition
TRENDINGTHE WORLD AT WARThe landmark documentary series restored in high definition
Suicide Squad - A woefully dull and incomprehensible mess
TRENDINGSUICIDE SQUADA woefully dull and incomprehensible mess
The Princess Diaries - 20 years since Genovia found its princess
TRENDINGTHE PRINCESS DIARIES20 years since Genovia found its princess
River's Edge - The kids aren't alright
TRENDINGRIVER'S EDGEThe kids aren't alright
Matilda - Revolting children for 25 years
TRENDINGMATILDARevolting children for 25 years
Golden Voices - Immigration struggles with amusing challenges
TRENDINGGOLDEN VOICESImmigration struggles with amusing challenges
Boxing Day Movies 2020 - The year's biggest films bursting onto cinema screens
TRENDINGBOXING DAY MOVIES 2020The year's biggest films bursting onto cinema screens
Fanny Lye Deliver'd - Feminist folk horror
TRENDINGFANNY LYE DELIVER'DFeminist folk horror
The Last Horns of Africa - The danger, the heartache and the importance of saving the Rhinos
TRENDINGTHE LAST HORNS OF AFRICAThe danger, the heartache and the importance of saving the Rhinos
Monty Python's Flying Circus: The Complete Series - Sketches at a revolution
TRENDINGMONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS: THE COMPLETE SERIESSketches at a revolution
25 Free-to-Watch Short Horror Films - The scariest shorts we uncovered online
TRENDING25 FREE-TO-WATCH SHORT HORROR FILMSThe scariest shorts we uncovered online
Aiyai: Wrathful Soul - Ambitious but unfocused Aussie horror
TRENDINGAIYAI: WRATHFUL SOULAmbitious but unfocused Aussie horror
Midsommar: The Director's Cut - Ari Aster elevates an already remarkable film to a masterpiece
TRENDINGMIDSOMMAR: THE DIRECTOR'S CUTAri Aster elevates an already remarkable film to a masterpiece
Inseparable Bros - A heartwarming tale about disability and the power of friendship
TRENDINGINSEPARABLE BROSA heartwarming tale about disability and the power of friendship
© 2011 - 2021 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us!