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Inspector Montalbano: Collection Seven [DVD]
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Based on the bestselling crime novels of Andrea Camilleri, Inspector Montalbano is Sicily's finest detective. Respected by the community and his subordinates, perhaps less so by his superiors, on an island where two major crime families are constantly battling for supremacy, the Inspector has his work cut out for him. Joined by his compatriots, Mimi, Fazio and Catarella, In these superb tales the Inspector investigates the delicate matter of the murder of a mature housewife and prostitute; a tale of corruption and murder that builds to a mud pyramid; the terrible truth that lies at the heart of a nest of vipers; and perhaps the most brutal murder he has ever encountered that, when the terrible truth surfaces, must be dealt with as per procedure. While his long-tested Livia waits patiently, inspiring and guiding him from time to time, Inspector Montalbano continues to battle the forces above and below him in search of truth, guilt and the punishment of those who most deserve it.
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Now Salvo and his men are back for this new series as it serves up more rich and compelling mysteries. The supporting cast are all back as well, not to mention all your favourite locations, including of course Enzo's beach restaurant. The series does a fine job a balancing a serious approach to its subject matter - a gritty crime drama, yet working in enough humour too to stop things becoming too gloomy. Be prepared for lots of bad language, In Sicily when people are not pleased they say exactly they're thinking and say it loudly. Many big actors from Italian TV and film make an appearance as guest stars across these episodes. The star of the programme is inspector Montalbano, an old fashioned kind of detective, you’ll never see him using a computer, I don’t think he even sends texts. Speaking of old fashioned the Sicily portrayed here is still stuck in the past. The area is divided between two warring mafia clans, pretty much all the top police, magistrates and people of influence are old white men and unfair practices and corruption are pretty common. As ever season 7 delivers an impressive range of locations, streets are often closed down to the public during filming to give that sparsely populated, barren empty feel to the town. The outdoors scenes are often lit by lovely warm sunshine while the interiors provide nice a dark contrast. Primary colours, such as yellow, blue and red are generally avoided in set decoration and costume in favour of a subdued yet stylish look, for example instead there’s plenty of dark brown, greys, blacks, blues and whites. The adults (Shock!) dress like adults on this programme, not teenagers. How common is it now to walk around and see men in their 40s and 50s dressed in shorts and a bright t-shirts? In Montelusa at least most of the men are suited up and sporting their shades. In terms of the performances Luca Zingaretti really doesn’t get enough praise for his acting, whether he’s delivering dialogue or just looking troubled he conveys the emotional state of the character wonderfully and always sympathetically. Without such a compelling character the show wouldn't been nearly so good. In a big improvement over series 6 the actress playing Livia (His long distance girlfriend) has changed too. She’s now played by an Italian so we don’t have to put up with the terrible dubbing anymore where the lips didn’t even sync with the dialogue. Livia is no longer the depressing, draining, anxious bore she was last season either, she’s much more cheerful and upbeat this time round. Her purpose as a plot device is to serve as a happy retreat from the grinding work and villainry Montablano is surrounded by.
As ever each episode is two hours in length, giving lots of time for the viewer to immerse themselves in the story. The solutions at the end often turn out to be quite simple, however the information is given out slowly, making the viewer wait in order to learn more. Fazio also continues to mature and is now practically Montablano’s partner, no longer the young rookie he started out as. I won’t spoil any of the details of the episodes, but you’ll be pleased to hear they don’t disappoint, typically opening with a murder victim breathing their last breath before Montalbano receives the phone call which starts his investigation going.
As an aside, there's little direct violence or gore in this season but as well as the usual strong language and adult themes Season 7 is especially sordid, with crimes touching on incest, prostitution and sexual violence, so definitely don't sit down with your children on an evening an pop this into your DVD player.
Most recent customer reviews
Great cast, good team, Midsomer with food and wine