Caracas: film plot, review, cast, Marco D’Amore, Servillo

CHon CaracasMarco D’Amore returns behind the camera and chooses to measure himself with the novel Naples Railway by Ermanno Rea. The actor’s third feature film Gomorrah – the series, puts the Neapolitan city back at the center of history, between lights and shadows. In the cast, in addition to Marco D’Amore himself, we find an excellent Toni Servillo and the young promise Lina Camélia Lumbroso.

“Gomorrah”, the emotional farewell of Salvatore Esposito and Marco D'Amore

Caracas: the plot of Marco D’Amore’s film

The famous Neapolitan writer Giordano Fonte, played by Toni Servillo, returns to his city after many years of distance. Faced with a place he loves but which he struggles to recognise, during a conference he announces that he no longer wants to write. The meeting with the mysterious Caracas (Marco D’Amore)with which he revisits the alleys and streets of his youth, turns into a singular bond.

Caracas moves in the metropolis and among its inhabitants like a king, a figure of reference. A very complex personality, he carries a tragic love story and a dark present in his heart. The man, in fact, frequents a far-right militant group and decided to convert to Islam. A radical choice to find peace and survive the pain for the beautiful and painful Yasmina, a drug addict.

Marco D’Amore in “Caracas”. (Fosforo Press/Vision Film)

The destinies of the three characters seem to have no way out but the first lights of a new day may still bring fragments of salvation. And of hope. But will a fascist who wants to embrace Islam really exist?

Naples as a nerve center of human diversity

Marco D’Amore knows how to perfectly describe the extraordinary beauty and decadence of the Campania capital. Her gaze is lucid and never indulgent, devoid of unnecessarily folkloristic touches. The colors of the alleys, the lively sharing between immigrants present the slow transformation of an enigmatic universe. Rodrigo D’Erasmo’s music also highlights the visible exuberance of the city.

The camera forces the viewer to travel in a whirlwind through mazes of streets, getting lost in an endless labyrinth. A path that is at times claustrophobic in which darkness and stagnant water, real and symbolic, overcome air and light. An urban tangle that is the perfect reflection of the soul of Fonte, Caracas and Yasmina, closed in on themselves within a very personal Dantesque circle. Or in one painful epic in which Naples is almost a social experiment.

The great bond between Marco D’Amore and Toni Servillo

The director has repeatedly declared that without the presence of Toni Servillo, he would never have wanted to shoot Caracas. Impossible not to agree with him. Giordano Fonte’s character embodies his talent perfectly. Servillo is all in the tone of voice, in the delicate, melancholic indolence. It is in the awareness of time passing, in apparently lost creativity.

The pinnacle of representation and strong point it is in the friendship with Caracas, in reality that becomes a story and a book. A man at the antipodes, a personality so distant yet capable of generating new stimuli intellectuals and changes in perspective. A meeting between old and new generation, between two souls who are searching in a twisted way for their place in the world. The complexity of the characters is thanks to the relationship between the two actors. The teacher and the student give their best when they are close, when they dialogue on multiple levels.

Marco D’amore and Toni Servillo in “Caracas”. (Fosforo Press/Vision Film)

The lights and shadows of the film

Marco D’Amore fearlessly confronts the pages of a popular author like Ermanno Rea. His novels have been cinematic material for filmmakers such as Mario Martone and Gianni Amelio. Caracas it has all the merits and few defects of a complex and difficult film. The few shadows of the film exist in parallel with the complexity and splitting of the narrative levels, between visions bordering on the dreamlike and harsh reality.

Different themes coexist in the work like religion and its fanatical excess, politics and the seed of violence. Arguments translated into images and words that tend to overlap and struggle to find their own voice. His beauty is found in Stefano Meloni’s photography which offers Neapolitan visions that are sometimes baroque, sometimes dark and restless. A work that thrives on the semantic contrast between ancient language and new contamination.

Another strong point is the cast. The two aforementioned protagonists are close. They convince even when the writer’s voice-over would tend towards a labored lyricism. The revelation is Lina Camélia Lumbroso, a young French actress of Tunisian origins. Her face and proud look embody Yasmina’s rebellious and defeated figure, her path of self-destruction and sick love. Caracas forces reflection, to search for personal answers within a story and an open ending. Nowadays, it is an experience not to be missed.