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Piranhas

La paranza dei bambini

A teenage Scarface meets Romeo and Juliet, in Claudio Giovannesi’s gripping depiction of young gangsters running amok in Naples.

Dir Claudio Giovannesi
Prod Carlo Degli Esposti, Nicola Serra
Scr Roberto Saviano, Claudio Giovannesi, Maurizio Braucci
With Francesco Di Napoli, Viviana Aprea, Ar Tem
Italy
2019
110min
Sales Elle Driver
With English subtitles

Nicola is a teenage kid and would-be Paranza (Piranha), groomed to be a foot soldier on the streets of Naples for Camorra mob bosses. However, Nicola is more ambitious than most, if not all, of his contemporaries. Resembling an underage Scarface, he quickly rises through the ranks with a combination of raw charm, assertiveness, audacity and a capacity for cold-blooded violence. Adapted from the 2016 novel by Gomorrah author Roberto Saviano, which draws on real life events, Piranhas is the impressive third feature by Claudio Giovannesi (Ali Blue Eyes, Fiore). It’s atmospherically captured by Daniele Ciprì’s crisp cinematography and features impressively convincing performances, particularly by lead actor Francesco Di Napoli.

Adrian Wootton

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