“Intrepido” not even close to being intrepid

By Carter Glace

Via Variety

“Intredpido: A Lonely Hero” is an Italian film that tries to follow one man’s traversal of the tumultuous climate of the Italian financial crisis. Comedian Antonio Albanese plays Antonio Pane, a unemployed schlub who makes his living as a fill-in—an illegal practice of jumping from job to job replacing people on a whim. This results in an episodic collection of adventures from job to job, and his interactions with his family and a woman he helps find a job.

The different jobs Pane takes allow the film to shine, providing a subtle way of visually explaining the character: a easy-going, endearing sort who just happens to have  an incredibly diverse set of skills (or is an extraordinary fast learner anyway). At the same time, it allows director Gianni Amelio to show off his visual shots with striking compositions and some very surreal moments. For example, there’s a beautiful shot of stadium cleansers walking in line as the stadium looms under them. It also helps capture a pleasant subtle humor

Unfortunately, there’s not too much more I can praise about this film. Despite feeling a bit on the long side, there really doesn’t feel like there’s that much substance to the over 100 minute run time, especially considering the main driving point of the film is largely left unexplained. We see Pane go to a crooked, gout ridden  gym owner who updates him on open job spots as well taking a chunk of his wage. But that’s all were told about the arrangement. Their relationship is glossed over, and never mind how he gets all of these jobs.
There’s another potentially great subplot with Pane’s son. Their interactions have a sincerity and emotion to them, the two characters playing well off each other. The son, Ivo, serves as a sort of mirror to the hero, as he is more or less locked into music but crippled by apprehension and unreliability. Like I said, their interactions feel genuine and the resolution to their story together serves as one of the highlights of the film. Unfortunately though, this ultimately takes up a very small portion of the movie. Instead, a large amount of time is spent between Pane and a woman he helps cheat on an employment exam. Their chemistry is fine, but the scenes feel inconsequential, overlong, and ultimately lead up to a somewhat predictable and dour conclusion.

Overall, the film isn’t substantial enough to pack much of a punch. The individual moments themselves are engaging enough, with some particularly striking from an emotional and visual standpoint. I don’t think the film calls for a rush to the theaters, but if you’re a fan of Italian cinema, you may find it worthwhile.

Carter Glace is a staff writer. Email him at film@nyunews.com.

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