directed by Andrea Recchia
"Ascoltati" is a comedy film that aims to deal with various themes that can shake a human being through his life, especially while going through the heartbreaking parts such as the death of his mother. Based in Bologna, the film unfolds with a close shot of different objects, among them, also a recording device or a radio, thus introducing the voice over that will guide us throughout the movie.
''I wanna tell you a story'' is the perfect phrase to open a movie, using a pleasing expression, and including the Rubik cube makes a pretty well-founded introduction. The main character is definitely in his own world, being controlled by his OCD and contouring a passive and shy role. Too little information is given about this man, which does not help with the audience's engagement, not being able to become a relatable character. The public is not ready to embrace the world in his head. The morgue episode comes too early in the structure of the story, making the public unable to empathize with the main character's loss.
Speaking of sound, the quality and attention given to this element are unfortunate and notably chased. The lack of sound gear used, is easy to notice. The howling leitmotif is not bad used for the first time, but when repeated, it becomes oddly irritating because the level exceeds the human enduring of high notes.
Moreover, many sounds come from sound libraries, and are used in a non-credible way, like the steps on concrete, which are not mixed at all, with no sound panning or other automatizations at all. Also the following sounds: the phone ringing, the voice from the telephone, SFX and foley sounds, were all just placed in the timeline, always having the wrong type of reverb and sound design missing entirely from this equation. The quality of sound is an essential feature that can make the film appear less appealing, especially when watched by a pro filmmaker. The interventions made by the voice-over feel like post-additions attempting to fill what the image couldn't achieve to convey.
The music interventions may help in saving the audio universe of several scenes, but the in and out of the music parts were handled unsuccessfully. The music lacks harmonical integration, and it doesn't achieve helping the dramaturgy of the story.
The point of view shot to resemble the one from Hardcore Henry (d. Ilya Naishuller, 2015), making the film more dynamic, unfortunately does not seem necessary every time. It strives hard for a shambling charm but is unlikely to prove appealing. Several shots that are too exposed seem a little unsharp, having a different look beside the other indoor shots, for example. The green filter used for a more cinematic appearance sometimes works like magic for the whole film's look, but when encountering an overexposed shot, it gets an ''alien'' aspect.
Cinematography is entirely on point, having proper framing and correct lighting. Still, sadly the script doesn't help in order to dynamize images more.
When revisiting the characters, there is no conclusion at the end of these scenes, and the dialogues don't feel natural. The film covers with pizza delivery are adequately used, and sometimes editing helps in saving the continuity of some scenes. Still, it often happens to have more scenes than necessary, thus losing the audience.
The love story figured at the ending seems like it's coming from nowhere. It feels like it was placed there in order to save time and have a happy ending.
This movie has more of a TV series feeling than a well-structured film. After not even half an hour into the movie, it loses the auditor. It has a hard development, making the audience starve for some action, some intrigue that will keep them hooked to the film's subject till the very end of the movie.
Regrettably, the audience does not feel like solving the Rubik cube at the end of this film.
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