Ricky Tognazzi’s classic anti-mafia thriller is deeply grounded in reality. The film was made a year after judge Giovanni Falcone was murdered as he was on his way to Palermo airport. The judge, his wife, and three police bodyguards were killed. Interestingly the film is not about the judge or the case, but focuses on the four bodyguards and the close bonding they develop with his replacement prosecutor, an outsider sent from Rome strange to the Sicilian ways.
You might expect a fast-paced movie with lots of action, but then again you’re in for another surprise. The film manages a restrained undercurrent tension that causes you to believe that any second something radical is about to happen as the bodyguards face threats on the road shuttling the investigator back and forth in his quest to seek justice. However, for the most part nothing major happens as the plot zigzaging leaves you with a constant “that was close” sensation. I would say it’s probably a much accurate capture of bodyguard reality than the typical 90-minutes of endless pyrotechnics.
If you are also a fan of Ennio Morricone, you’re in for a treat. Not yet? Well, you definitely should be. Morricone, this year’s winner of the Honorary Oscar award for lifetime achievement, provides a pounding score. The music perfectly supports this mounting tension that hits the bodyguards externally as they dodge various dangers on the job, and internally with the strain it brings on their families.
The message is simple. If you look around you, you too can see that often the real heroes are not necessarily those prime time figures busy rescuing the world. It’s in fact their support teams those faceless helpers behind the scenes that carry the heavy load. And as we know these so-called margins are far more interesting than the center as the neorelaist film movement has proven time and again. Real stories of real people that with recent waves of reality TV shows and YouTube’s user generated media – are now back in vogue.