Thursday, 24 September 2015

IFF MVIE REVIEW: THE LAND OF SAINTS



2/5

Vitoria is a beautiful and strong willed magistrate who is determined to singlehandedly take on Calabrian mafia. Trying to appeal to the wives of the mafioso bosses she is looking for an accomplice to stop the senseless killing of the young apprentices - the mafia sons. In fact, this seems to be the main focus of her quest - to protect the children whatever the cost, even if it means to take them away from their mothers.

LAND OF SAINTS is well photographed and has a few good performances, but the weak screenplay undermines the efforts of delivering a sensitive drama. The credibility of many scenes and dialogues is in question, and the central protagonist Victoria is the least real person in the story. We know very little about her, and the reason for her determination, or rather - borderline craziness, is never explained. So she hardly seems like a real person - just a catalyst inserted into the story to carry it forward. Valeria Solarino, as Victoria, is as good as she can be with the script she is given, but her perfect model looks did not help - she is an unlikely candidate for a reclusive, selfless protagonist who has nothing in her life but her work.

The action is slow, and predictable, and you soon realise you have seen it all before. The premise of the film had a lot going for it, so it's a shame that it ended up being so inconclusive. It is almost as if the director had too many ideas, and trying to fit them all in, had forgotten that the story needs to have an ending. As the screen will go black and credits roll, many viewers will also roll their eyes. LAND OF SAINTS is one of these films that could have been great. It is greatly disappointing instead.

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