Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

The Vegetarians
"Able direction, crisp production and a convincing cast in something that has clear aims and hits its target."

He says, "Take the rifle", but not for long. The processes of loading and locking, the slide of shell to bore. A sense of power, "like the ancients", masculinity tested in the woods, the wilds, the locker room. Football isn't enough, not wine, not sausages. Chekhov's gunsmith would have a look at that sticking hammer, and so it seems.

It might not be a rifle, but a rifled shotgun. That configuration of side by side, its use for quail. We delve into the detail because so much of this is small. Fresh tagliatelli. Borrowed shampoo. A gasket for 300 euros. A dead hand from off-screen. A moment of haste. A lifetime to regret.

Pietro Faiella as the father sets a particular example to Paulo (Miguel Milano), a hunter, yes, but one who has set his sights at a certain level. As best pal Rob, Nicolo Galasso's brings a shaggy solidity to a small role. The three are good performances in service of a simple story.

Marco Mazzone directs, co-writes with Edoardo Puma. There is little new here, little novel, indeed little unexpected. This unfolds with an inevitability that almost does it a disservice. Taking stock for a moment, appreciate the mechanisms at work - able direction, crisp production and a convincing cast in something that has clear aims and hits its target.

There are some flashes of brilliance. The confession, the conversation at dinner, the way the waters are tested. The escalation of risk, the forces and features that push pin to primer and fate to fire. On the moped, a mournful moment, the dog is praised in ways that others aren't. See what is on the screen and by implicaton in the photo. See what is behind the cameraphone.

That we know the blow is coming makes it no less powerful. Brace your shoulder, lean in. Pull the trigger. Feel it in your chest.

Reviewed on: 13 Oct 2021
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Vegetarians packshot
Hunting with his father, a son's first shot will have a lasting impact.

Director: Marco Mazzone

Year: 2021

Runtime: 16 minutes

Country: Italy


Ca' Foscari 2021

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