Toni Servillo in Loro

Starring: Toni Servillo, Elena Sofia Ricci, Riccardo Scamarcio, Kasia Smutniak, Euridice Axen, Fabrizio Bentivoglio

Director: Paolo Sorrentino

Running Time: 151 Minutes

Rating: Unrated, But Be Aware of the Molly-Fueled Orgiastic Parties

Release Date: September 20, 2019 (Limited)

If you see a film directed by the Italian Paolo Sorrentino, chances are you’re going to be intoxicated. He’s developed a reputation for lavish, sensuous experiences – non-stop pleasure gardens, if you will. They have the sort of sumptuous vibe that I imagine Silvio Berlusconi wanted to engender while he was prime minister of Italy. So it’s no wonder that Sorrentino has made the ambitiously sprawling Loro, which attempts to capture no less than the essence of the orbit around Berlusconi. Interestingly, but also vitally, the man himself doesn’t show up until about halfway through. Instead, the beginning is a mix of businessman attempting to make power moves in a culture that would much rather have endless poolside orgies to the tune of such classics as Harry Nilsson’s “Jump Into the Fire” and Santigold’s “L.E.S. Artistes.” It’s beautifully, vibrantly shot, almost dangerously so. You practically want to tear off your clothes and jump in yourself.

But then Berlusconi (Toni Servillo*) steps in with his paunchy belly, and the party crashes hard. (*-Servillo also pulls double duty as billionaire businessman Ennio Doris.) As he takes stock of how things didn’t turn out the way he hoped while he ruled over his beloved country, Loro becomes tinged with melancholy, as the promise of hedonism proves, naturally enough, to be less than fulfilling. But a moment of clear-headed reflection would be all wrong for this subject, and that is in fact not what Sorrentino has in mind. The soullessness of the man at the center is clear enough when he says things like, “Altruism is the best way to be selfish.” Loro is an autopsy for the innocence of all involved, but it’s cleansing for viewers if you let yourself go through the whole thing.

Loro is Recommended If You Like: Paolo Sorrentino’s Filmography and TV-ography

Grade: 4 out of 5 Bunga Bungas