A Quiet Life is the story of an Italian expatriate Rosario who runs a quiet, yet successful roadside restaurant and hotel with the help of his beautiful younger business driven wife, Renate. Rosario is the head chef in his kitchen, and pushes the boundaries of what’s normally on the German menu by dishing out wild boar and crabs in the same sitting (something that’s obviously not the norm in Germany given the reaction from the rest of the staff in the kitchen!). They live a quiet life, where running the business, looking after their young son Mathais, and trying to kill a whole bunch of trees with copper nails (as the council won’t allow them to cut them down unless they are dying), are their only joys, priorities and challenges.
That is, until two young dangerous-looking Italian men, Diego and Edoardo turn up at the hotel looking for a place to stay. It soon becomes clear that Rosario hasn’t always lived such a quiet life after all – in fact many years ago, he ran from an Italian mob – leaving behind a wife and son, and a whole other life behind him. Although Diego and Edoardo’s main mission is to assassinate a German businessman who is trying to mess with some deal the gangsters have with a whole pile of waste departing from Naples – it soon becomes obvious that, unbeknownst to Edoardo, Diego has some side business to take up with the mysterious Rosario.
This is a good film – not a great film, certainly not a masterpiece, but just a plain and simple, good film. It looks good, has great acting, an fairly decent story line, and a fantastic sound-scape. However, the film seemed to lack real substance. Everything was explained, and everything flowed logically from point A to point B. Nothing was left up to the audience’s imagination. Everything was spelt out, just like in a children’s book. But don’t get me wrong – I still think it was a good film, and I would certainly recommend it to overs. The only reservation I have is that you just walk out the cinema going, “oh well, that was good” – there’s no discussion at the end of the film, no questions to answer. There was however some questionable camera moves – a few extravagant crane shots and dolly moves that seemed very unmotivated. They looked fantastic, but really stood out as being in there solely because they had the budget to do it – not because it helped the story, or added to anything. But that was the only real point of discussion after the film ended. Despite the film being intertwined with mystery and uncertainty – there was nothing left to discuss as the end credits rolled.
I was a massive fan of Diego and Edoardo, and thought that Edoardo’s brief love interest, Doris was an extremely sexy and beautiful woman who certainly added to the film. The film was like watching a couple of wild animals circling each other, snarling, and trying to work out who’s going to take the first move. Jam packed with lies, secrets and mysteries – this film tells the story of a big time gangster who leaves that world of danger, crime, and making sure you cover your footprints, but is forced to jump back into that survival mind-set when his families life is put at stake. Not an amazing film – but certainly a respectable effort for a 2nd feature film for the director.