Today the latest film by Italian director Paolo Sorrentino, Loro (Them) was presented at the Toronto Film Festival making it’s international debut. Paolo Sorrentino is known as one of the best directors of his generation, and Loro is the latest film from Sorrentino. In this film, Sorrentino creates a world profoundly deliverd through cinematic facts, and events that actually happened in Italy between 2006 and 2010 between political figures, including Silvio Berlusconi.
Sorrentino does not silence the rumors, and the gossip, nor does he judge or condemn but shows, all the events, one after the other. In the first part he focuses on Sergio Morra (Riccardo Scamarcio) who is a young businessman from Puglia who traffics escorts to corrupt politicians and obtain contracts. The character is most likely inspired by another Italian figure, Gianpaolo Tarantini. Sergio aims high and wants to get closer to power, so he decides to leave for Rome to enter the magic circle of Italian politics and become closer to Silvio Berlusconi, who is played by Toni Servillo.
These are difficult years for the Cavaliere because the love of his wife Veronica Lario ( played by the excellent Elena Sofia Ricci) has vanished. Berlusconi is alone, bored and becoming increasingly sad. He longs for Veronica’s love yet he is denied, and he desperately wants to govern the country but Prodi is in power, and meanwhile the companies he founded are run by his children.
Part of the sale of the senators, the feasts of cocaine with the olgettine, will follow the scandals, the interceptions and the trials. Everything is colorful, noisy and confused but Sorrentino changes genres and goes from the farcical comedy to the tragedy. Berlusconi, back in charge of the country, has to contend with the tragedy of the earthquake in L’Aquila. The silence is deafening. The pitch dark. Loro is a film about Italians through Berlusconi.
Beloved and hated, shamed and a national joke, elected and re-elected, Berlusconi is like so many Italians, cunning, amoral, corrupt, guilty yet also are hopeful dreamers, a fascinating and mysterious person; The self-made man par excellence but no one knows with what money.
The “Italians” are not only the “Loro” of the first part of the film, (Tarantini, Kira and Tamara) they are also, as Sorrentino says, “the silent heroes who claim nothing, who claim no stage and who know how to be the exact opposite of those who aspire, aspire, aspire”. They are those who suffer and work hard, proud and dignified, like the inhabitants of L’Aquila. Behind the two factions, however, there are feelings of sentiment. And this is the difficult part to understand.