Movie Review: Reality ✭✭✭ (in selected cinemas March 22nd)

In selected cinemas 22nd March 
Review by Christina Benneworth

REALITY winner of Grand Prix at Canne Film Festival (2012) is a fascinating take on the darker side of celebrity culture; Reality follows the extreme lengths some people will go to for their five minutes of fame.

Luciano (Aniello Arena) is a Neapolitan fishmonger who supplements his modest income by pulling off little scams together with his wife Maria (Loredana Simioli). A likeable and entertaining guy, Luciano never misses an opportunity to perform for his customers and countless relatives. One day his family urge him to try out for a reality TV show. As his perception of reality begins to change, Luciano plunges into a self-delusional fantasy that threatens to destroy his relationship and his loved ones, a simple family man who has everything and is willing to give it all up for an illusion.

Matteo Garrone is back with a new film Reality, completely different from his previous film Gomorrah, the violent thriller, based on the non-fiction book by Roberto Saviano. You can’t help but think why has Garrone made a movie about Big Brother 10 years after it was released however, Garrone said “this is not that movie. It's about a guy who goes on a journey and loses his identity – loses himself. It's not about television; it's about audiences, people, and the contradictions and conflicts within us.” And this is right, this isn’t a movie about Big Brother it’s much more than that

What makes this film extra exciting is Aniello Arena the leading man, was actually on release from prison when filming this movie. Arena has been touted as the next De Niro , he is currently serving a life sentence in Italy’s Volterra Detention Centre for his involvement, while a teen, in an organised-crime hit squad. As his first official movie Arena does an excellent job, he is very engaging in the role as Luciano, I suspect Arena will be in many more movies.

This movie does a great job in portraying a dream like character study, and with the help of long shots and great music, Garrone does a good job of showing how sometimes your dreams get mixed up with reality.

3 stars ✭✭✭