Con Man: Our Review of ‘Loro’

Posted in What's Streaming? by - March 14, 2021
Con Man: Our Review of ‘Loro’

It takes more than twenty minutes for Loro to pull back on the curtain on its bourgeois Italian characters. That curtian pull happens at the same time in Paolo Sorrentino’s other films like The Great Beauty. Although the curtain there sometimes returns. It makes sure its viewers at least have their equal share of fun and quiet times. This time around, the ‘sleazy Italian’stereotype will make some viewers expect another way for the film’ssubverive side to show. How it does it here, instead is for a politician (Fabrizzio Bentivoglio) to rape Tamara (Euridice Axen).

Tamara is the girlfriend of Sergio Morra (Ricardo Scamarcio). Sergio, in 2006, is trying to ingratiate himself Silvio Berlusconi’s (Sorrentino’s frequent collaborator Toni Servillo) inner circle. His plan involves renting out a villa full of aspiring actresses to bait Berlusconi. Then the film makes what feels like a permanent to Berlusconi’s own life and villa. The Sergio storyline becomes an afterthought. Anyway, a man follows Berlusconi around to play some songs. The musician plays love songs which is the favourite genre of a heartless man.

The film doubles down on Berlusconi’s heartlessness. Out of boredom, he calls a random old woman. He pretends to be a real estate agent selling a zero percent mortgage. To its credit, the script does something interesting here. The woman calls him out on being a con man but doesn’t hang up. The woman is an obvious symbol of the consumer or voter who is still kinda smart. But their fascination with con men makes them vulnerable to their scams, causing marketplace and political decay. An although the film makes Servillo one dimensional, at least scenes like this show his energy in playing Berlusconi.

Unfortunately, Sorrentinto hides these slivers of insight within gaudy displays. Loro is abound with musical numbers and set pieces with barely clothed, scientifically attractive young women. Surely this appeals to some viewers. But this film would make even the most red blooded heterosexual turn away. Instead, they will reach for someone with their own idea of someone ‘classy’ and platabale. And that’s because it has no idea what classy looks like. We know this because it makes a point to make Sergio crass although he seems indistinguishable from other characters. In contrast, its symbol of class, Kira (Kasia Smutniak), fails to exude that quality. This will turn self-aware viewers into moralistic hypocrites who can see that the film has its own moral hypocrisies.

Loro‘s callout aspect also feels repetitive. That’s specifically true when Berlusconi’s wife Veronica Lario (Elena Sofia Ricci) returns from some spiritual trip in Cambodia. He builds her a miniature temple for her to medidate which doesn’t impress her. It’s the same bemused reaction that he gets from a younger aspiring actress. The script telegraphs for that actress, successfully at least, to be and look smarter than he expects her to be. Nonetheless, this film spends its last act with women berating him about how sad he is. Which is obvious to everyone. It makes the verbalization of its themes unnecessary.


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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watches movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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