The most beguiling film I've seen in a long time, Il Divo is a riot of cinematic technique, a breathless sugar-rush of pure style. Whip-pans and fast cuts one moment, slo-mo operatic action the next. From the surreal shots of a politician skidding child-like across a marble floor to the macabre scenes of the central character creeping round and round his house like Nosferatu - and not forgetting an employment of soundtrack and sound effects that puts peak-form Tarantino in the shade - this bold picture is (all guns) blazing with energy.
Your response to the film will have a lot to do with your approach to cinema. I'm reminded of the review panel who discussed this movie on BBC's Newsnight. They complained that it was difficult to follow the plot and it was too confusing as a lesson in Italian political history, though as an aside they admitted it was terrific cinematically. For me, that relegation of the cinematic experience to a secondary concern says it all. If you want to learn about the facts read a book, if you love cinema, definitely get hold of this film. I'm not saying it's like some sort of shallow advert, it's fascinating as an abstract portrait of power in an unfamiliar (to me) country and a fantastic primer to make you interested in finding out more about the period and events. It's just not a cut and dried briefing document that will furnish you with a simple education.
I would contrast this film to the recent Red Army Faction film The Baader-Meinhof Complex. The German movie presents you with a linear cause-and-effect narrative plotting the formation, actions of and destruction of the R.A.F. I came away feeling like I had learned a lot about the group but feeling subdued, bored, less interested than when I had gone in: the film was flat, lifeless, seemed over-long. Despite glamorous production values, lots of action and good-looking actors etc, The Baader-Meinhof Complex is really just a straight historical reconstruction, only of interest to those who don't know much about that gang and is only a one-watcher. Il Divo on the other hand, is a film that I imagine would be an exhilarating experience whether you know nothing about the subject matter or whether you are an expert on Italian politics or for everyone in between - provided you believe in Cinema. It feels to me like something that will still be a great movie 30 years down the line.