Review #Venezia74: Suburbicon

Directed by George Clooney and written by also the Coen brothers, Suburbicon is an absurd comedy-crime film, with peaks of suspense and tension, mixed with comedy and drama.

suburbicon

The story begins with the classical book that illustrates the fantastic world of Suburbicon, an idyllic neighbourhood during the Eisenhower days with perfect houses, loan and families. Everything is top quality and no one is a bad, mean person. Everything changes when a black family, The Meyers, who change the perfect pattern of this suburban place with a hint of “colour” that doesn’t fit. Life for the Meyers become more and more difficult because of racism and hatred, but no one sees what is happening in another house: the Lodge family is having some money problems with, it seems, the mafia.

It all begins with the death of Rose (Julianne Moore), who is also in the role of Margaret, her sister. Behind this accident there are many tricks to get the money from Rose’s life policy and run away to Aruba, just Mr. Gardner (Matt Damon) and Margaret. The only one who understands everything is Nicholas, the little boy, Gardner and Rose’s son. Despite the brutality in the Lodge’s house, no one seems to notice it, because they are all concentrated in sending the Meyers away.

Suburbicon is a perfect crime movie, with scams, villains, intrigues and suspense, but with many little comedy moments, that have the purpose to break the tension and make the vision more fluid and interesting. The plot is based on the prejudices affect people’s notion of reality, hiding who the real “monsters” are in the neighbourhood. The only person who helps the spectator understand what the reality is, is Nicholas, or Nicky, who still plays with the little black boy, Andy, and knows who the real killers are. The film, in fact, from the boy’s point of view: neutral and good. These two boys are very important, they are the future generation and, thanks to the music of composer Alexandre Desplat, optimism is the final emotion that the spectator feels.

The structure of the film is based on coincidences and on the creation of the “monsters” played by Gardner and Margaret. They become what they don’t want to be just because they made the wrong choices, and that is what happens in real life too: “monsters are created by the choices they make”, these the words of Julianne Moore on her and Damon’s character.

Suburbicon is an angry film on a political situation that is uncomfortable and dangerous, like Trump’s term. Even though the script was written before this last presidential election, the film speaks about something that people would like to change and that is happening right now: racism and violence. This film is the mirror of nowadays American society, which thinks that America needs to be “great again” like in the 1950s, and on the other hand, there are people with a dream of hope for a better future.

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