131 of 134 people found the following review helpful
Charismatic Sicilian Detective Takes Life As It Comes,
This review is from: Inspector Montalbano: Collection One (2 Disc) [DVD] (DVD)BBC Four has done us all a service, promoting a string of colourful and varied crime series from Europe. Brooding dramas from Scandinavia (Wallander, The Killing), gritty ones from the ghettos of Paris (Spiral) and now, uniting many of their qualities under the seductive glow of the Sicilian sun, Inspector Montalbano. He is very much the star of his own show, brooding like Wallander or Lund but not to the extent he forgets how to finesse people, turning the case details over in his mind and suddenly laying it out for the police commissioner, so that whatever tricky plan devised by corrupt civilians or tenebrous mafiosi was intended, Montalbano has seen through it and refused to take the easy conclusion.
Montalbano is clearly a man of integrity but also a survivor in a land of great food and hot loving (both amongst his 'likes') as well as vendettas and sudden violence. He knows how to handle people, when to keep his cool, when to show his emotions, when to be philosophical, but for all his apparent autocracy at the local police HQ his life is repeatedly touched by unexpected realities - sorrows, hurts both mental and physical, as well as the on/off relationship with his girlfriend, Livia.
The actor playing I.M; whose name I haven't memorised, brings a boyish charm and excitability to the character, ably running the gamut of emotions. There is a welcome vein of humour in the daily activities of the inspector and his motley bunch of assistants, including a doofus cop at reception - a character portrait British writers would avoid for fear of offending the Offended League of Great Britain. With long episodes one is reminded of ITV's Morse, but instead of opera and trips to the pub we get seaside sunsets, sex and trips to the local bistro. As with Morse one never really knows how he does it but being younger, sexier and when you add the greater emotion on display among these latins (in contrast to the buttoned-up Brits) I.M. makes for the more compelling viewing. On the flipside, you kind of know you're in safe hands all the time with I.M, in contrast to the often horrific goings-on in Paris and Copenhagen.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 28 Sep 2012 16:07:26 BDT
Mr. D. Jordan says:
What a good review, I have been a great fan of Montalbano books for some time even preordering them on Amazon. I am also a lover of all things Italian so watching the videos helps with my italian
Posted on 29 Oct 2012 18:02:31 GMT
Posted on 19 Nov 2012 03:37:20 GMT
P. Andrews says:
Absolutely first class review. Couldn't have put it better myself. I am a devoted fan of Montalbano. He's the best intro to Italian enjoyment and entertainment I could have wished for. I just think Luca Zingaretti is one of the best actors I've seen anywhere, period. I'm 57 so I've seen a few. But I esp. agree with the reviewers comments on the shall we say 'politically less correct' aspects. They are a joy to behold, very funny and wonderfully entertaining. Maybe we in PCUK plc, need the Italians to remind us what comedy, humour and entertainment are all abouit; we seem to have forgotten over the last 20 years or so. I cvan't wait to get to Italy, try out the food, the people, the language and the places, not necessarily in that order - and all because of Il Commisario Montalbano, Italy's secret weapon to get us to 'go italian'. Thank you Philoctetes, Rai Uno and Andrea Camillieri!
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