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review of the film directed by Micaela Ramazzotti…

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review of the film directed by Micaela Ramazzotti…

Micaela Ramazzotti makes her directorial debut with Happinessa sincere work of social commitment, a story that tells the working class of Italy today, a courageous and political choice that is by no means obvious. In fact, very few are the authors who choose to tell the latest and everyday events, starting from the bottom, especially in Italy where the predilection is not the class struggle but bourgeois pedantry without any narrative ferocity.

Micaela Ramazzotti, in full Ken Loach style, does it, and returns to our gaze, to the gaze of all of us spectators with omnivorous pupils, a hard, desperate story, a daily tragedy that is striking for its complexity. The dialogues are the real pearl of the story, almost in a neorealist style, the story progresses, it becomes a whirlwind of situations that ring together and the bitter sarcasm frames it.

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Happinesspresented in the section Extra Horizons al Venice Film Festival 2023is directed by and starring Micaela Ramazzottiwith Sergio Rubini, Max Tortora, Anna Galiena and Matteo Olivetti.

Micaela Ramazzotti uses the family as a social archetype, a distorted, dysfunctional family, in which parents are petty, selfish and manipulative beings, who reject any responsibility for others, for the different.

All the characters use and abuse the ingenuity, and also the levity, of Desiré, a hairdresser who works on film sets. Her generosity makes her easy prey for those who want to take advantage of her, such as her father who emotionally blackmails her or her boyfriend Bruno, a selfish university professor who often humiliates her. When her brother Claudio falls into a state of depression, Desirè realizes that she must be the one to save him, because she is the only one who takes her illness seriously.

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Happiness: review of the film directed by Micaela Ramazzotti

Violence, toxic love, a beastly family: none of the characters in Happiness it lives only on light, everyone has dark shadows that touch its character; from this point of view the story is rather transversal, because above all the most feral, the most uncomfortable sides are shown of the protagonist. This is quality cinema, a clear cinema, even difficult to swallow because some themes touch us all, without distinction. What Micaela Ramazzotti builds is cinema of reality, a social cross-section of what happens when you have a brother who experiences a deep depression, which is not seen, and a job that thrives on rather frequent telluric shocks, all within the family, a short-sighted, vicious, even violent family who are unable to look in the mirror.

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Some scenes are really precious, some fragments are enchanting, especially when investigating the family relationship – the dialogues are really well written – and the relationship between the protagonist and her boyfriend, who seems to want to help her but which instead is perhaps the most everyone’s problem. Desiré is a character who lives in antithesis with the world, when the world bleeds she is ready to go towards it to heal every wound, having blind faith that words are always true words. Desiré is a character to whom it is impossible not to love, kind, meek, perhaps even subjugated but so loving: it is undeniable that behind that character there are many people who are reflected in her contradictions, in her paradoxes.

What Happiness manages to do is transform, to change sign, from normality to drama, from nightmare to generational tale, and it’s all in the eyes of the characters: Max Tortora and his eyes made up with kajal, it’s the grotesque in the tragedy, the eyes of Claudio, who are lost, and find strength in the last scene, the eyes of Anna Galiena, as she escapes from the psychiatric hospital, and looks out the window, looking for something to hold on to. And Desiré’s eyes, the most precious, because they are eyes that know how to take care of.

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Happiness will be in cinemas from Thursday 21 September 2023 distributed by 01 Distribution.

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