Utilizing a mesmerizing documentary style that studiously avoids glamorizing the horrors, Garrone cherrypicks episodes from Saviano's muckraking tract, building to a chillingly matter-of-fact crescendo of violence, though interwoven tales tend to dissipate the full force of the criminal Camorra families' insidious control.
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This film never feels like copycat Americana to me. Its vision of the bleak, ruined, urban-cum-rural landscape of Naples and environs is distinctively European and postmodern, redolent of the spiritual and physical desolation Antonioni captured so memorably in "Red Desert."
A sombre, slow, but well-paced study of organised crime in urban Naples that leaves a very grim taste in the mouth.
Gomorrah isn't memorable. The structure feels random, and the characters remain at arm's length. Next to HBO's "The Wire," which depicted an enormous financial ladder and also brought to life the characters on every rung, the movie is small potatoes: excellent journalism, so-so art.
The five interwoven narratives in this visceral but disciplined and beautifully acted movie show to devastating effect how ordinary men and women -- and especially vulnerable boys desperate for masculine role models -- get caught up in the seductive violence and are ruthlessly destroyed by the network's hardened henchmen.
This corrosive, slapdash, grimly exciting exposé of organized crime in and around Naples comes on like "Mean Streets" cubed.
Given the breadth of the story, the characters never achieve much depth, but they're part of a larger pattern: the younger ones are eager to find their way into the organization while the older ones are desperate to find their way out
The fingerprints of the Camorra are everywhere, this film wants us to know, and its grip is lethal.
Gomorrah takes place in a world where decency can't take root and we can only watch in horror as crime overwhelms society's most vulnerable-- women, children, law-abiding citizens, and the conscientious few who want to get out of the game.