Review Mafia Mamma – Review on FilmTotaal
Director: Catherine Hardwicke | Script: Amanda Sters, Debbie Jhoon, J. Michael Feldman | Cast: Toni Collette (Kristin), Monica Bellucci (Bianca), Alfonso Perugini (Dante), Francesco Mastroianni (Aldo), Eduardo Scarpetta (Fabrizio), ea | Time to play: minutes | Year: 2023
Screenwriters learn not to underestimate their audience. You don’t have to explain the obvious, viewers get it soon enough. However, underestimation also applies to what is considered acceptable. the creators of gangster mom assume the gregarious comedy audience will have absolutely no problem with violent fight scenes. That may be going a bit too far for some viewers.
Kristin’s Italian grandfather dies and her assistant offers her a trip to Rome to listen to this unknown man’s will. It seems? He’s a mobster and he wants Kristin to take over ‘the business’. Some people inside and outside the circle are not happy about it. Kristin, least of all, always goes out of her way to be a good person. But the assistant says that she can’t leave until she has been able to keep the peace among all the other mobsters in the area.
Is this a comedy? Yes. For everyone? Probably not, because there’s a scene where Kristin puts her stiletto in someone’s bloody eye socket, for example, yeah, that comes into play. The movie seems to be made for a female audience, because several male characters are one-dimensional caricatures of sexist jerks. Kristin’s male colleagues at an American company speak in front of her in a way that would have gotten them sued and fired the same day in real life.
But hey, this is the world where a middle-aged woman finds out that her grandfather turned out to be a rich mob boss, and she succeeds him. That setup certainly arouses curiosity, but it turns out to be a vain hope. gangster mom unfortunately not funny. The action sequences are amateurish and the violence probably goes too far for some visitors.
That may be due to the directing of Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen, Twilight). A skilled and seasoned professional, but not well versed in comedy or action, and it shows. Was he not allowed to critique the script or did he think it was good enough? During a gunfight and a chase at a funeral, everything becomes confusing. When a hit man sneaks into an unsuspecting Kristin’s bedroom, he has his sights on her, but decides to get closer and closer instead of just shooting—the world is cold-blooded, except when it’s inconvenient.
Not all jokes fail. It is especially the little ones that make the belly tremble. Like Kristin, how she runs past all the monuments in Rome and misses everything because she wasn’t paying attention, or how her grandfather’s video is constantly interrupted by an accomplice struggling behind him with a chimney.
The premise sounds good, but it becomes impossible. That the mob is open to moral improvement is a far-fetched fairy tale, but if Kristin’s character was written in such a way that she is at peace with all crime, it will be another movie that approves of the mob’s existence. The two male accomplices already present themselves as sweethearts, while in reality they only participate in blackmailing the merchants.
Toni Collette ups the score a bit with her performance, but a weak script and poor directorial choice can only make up for so much.