UK Release date: 11th June 2004
Watched on Sky+ Monday 27th May 2013.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
This is another of those films I watched only knowing the information given in the paragraph that comes up in the on-screen TV guide. It was enough to intrigue me and so a suitable viewing slot was found (Bank Holiday Monday’s are good for this sort of thing). I should warn those that fear the subtitle, it is in Italian with those troublesome words along the bottom. Here’s a very brief summary before I give you my thoughts.
It’s southern Italy in the late 1970’s and Michele (Giuseppe Cristiano) and his friends are out in the wheat fields playing. They go to an abandoned farmhouse where dares are made and forfeits acted out. They begin to head back home but Michele’s little sister, Maria (Giulia Matturo) has left her glasses. He goes back for them and makes an important discovery. In a pit behind the house is boy; he’s chained up so he can’t escape. Michele doesn’t know if he’s alive or dead so he doesn’t say anything to his mother, Anna (Aitana Sánchez-Gijón), or his father Pino (Dino Abbrescia), when they get home. The following day he goes there alone and discovers the boy, Filoppo (Mattia Di Pierro), is in fact alive. Little does he know, though, he’s putting his own life in danger.
I found this a very engaging film with some very interesting characters and an intriguing story line. It’s beautifully shot; making the most of the landscape, showing off the wide open spaces of the region. There is also some nice close-up work in which we get to see many of the small creatures that inhabit the fields. All the performances were excellent; particularly Giuseppe Cristiano; he really held the thing together with some great work! Over all, I can safely say I enjoyed this one although I did find it a little predictable towards the end but I think it’s still worth a look.
SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED
My score: 7.9/10.
IMDb Score: 7.5/10 (based on 8,953 votes when this review was written).
MetaScore: 73/100: (Based on 34 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 89/100 (based on 6,946 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
If you’re crazy enough… You can find me on Facebook at: