The Colosseum, the heart of Rome: silent and immobile, it has looked down on the city for millennia, the cradle of a fallen empire, which now lives in the melancholy and neglected beauty of its streets, where you can breathe history, filth and incivility. The first metropolis of humanity, Rome thrives on contrasts and contradictions: one moment leaves you breathless, the next it makes you angry and cursing its name. Great mother and prostitute, welcoming and repulsive at the same time, Rome has an almost magical power over those who were born and raised there: despite everything, it seems impossible to completely cut the umbilical cord that binds the Romans to their city. There second season di Suburra, its Netflix from 22 February, it opens with the Colosseum: the pulsating engine from which the main arteries of the city start, which are divided into several branches, intertwined with each other, up to the capillaries of the periphery. A sense of death and decay flows through the streets of Rome, mixed with an unstoppable desire for power.
The smell of death and thirst for power is what unites the protagonists of the Netflix series, the first Spanish original product of the streaming giant, prequel to the homonymous film directed by Stefano Sollima, in turn inspired by the novel by Carlo Bonini and Giancarlo De Cataldo. In the new episodes, eight in all, two less than in the first season (and it's a good thing), we find the protagonists three months after the previous events: Aureliano (Alessandro Borghi), is still upset by the betrayal of his sister Livia (Barbara Chichiarelli ), who returns to Ostia precisely to reconcile with his brother. The return of the queen of the Roman coast begins a domino effect that will lead to tragic consequences: Spadino (Giacomo Ferrara) hopes to use the woman to become the head of his family, now that his brother Manfredi (Adamo Dionisi) has left the scene; Lele (Eduardo Valdarnini) became an inspector in the Ostia police district; Sara (Claudia Gerini) finds herself having to manage migrants encamped by the Vatican on the land of Lido; Amedeo Cinaglia (Filippo Nigro) thinks of exploiting the tension caused by the landing of migrants on the Roman coast to get more votes in the elections and obviously Samurai (Francesco Acquaroli), after spending the whole first season trying to get those lands, is not satisfied. to have them taken away from the Vatican.
Suburra 2: learning from your mistakes
The first season of Suburra is anything but a perfect series: the editing of the episodes was done in a hurry, with obvious errors (in one shot the actors are positioned in one way, in the next in another), the writing is often lazy , with dialogues that are not the best of originality and characters that move too quickly (it would not be possible even in a quiet city, let alone taking into account the traffic of Rome), and the acting of some interpreters is not always up to par . Barbara Petronio and his team, however, have learned from their mistakes: the second season of Suburra is in fact streamlined (the two episodes less ensure a tighter pace), there are fewer useless dialogues, a lot more is focused on the looks of the characters, and above all there is greater attention from the formal point of view.
La direction is entrusted to only two authors, Andrea Molaioli, who returns to work on the series, and the novelty Piero Messina, who does an excellent job with geometries, inserting the protagonists in strong shapes and colors, creating a distinctive style in each episode directed by him (the scene of the choice of the cradle is already cult). The fundamental work done on the direction succeeds in the unthinkable: making the main protagonists almost static and motionless, who look like rough gems set on perfect sets (the work on the locations is admirable, especially as regards the settings on the Roman coast), the contrast with the almost paranormal mobility of Samurai, puppeteer who moves the strings of everything, the only character who seems to have the complete picture of the situation, becomes a metaphor. Samurai is the power, it is the evil that wanders like a ghost for Rome, the eye that sees everything and always has a fixed place in the hearts of all of us.
"It is not in the stars that our destiny is preserved, but in ourselves"
The Mephistophelic role of Samurai is even more evident in the second season of Suburra: it is perhaps no coincidence that, in the only moments when he is still, we always see him whispering something to the horses. True tempting devil, the character, masterfully played by Francesco Acquaroli, is the gray eminence of the series: cyclically, all the others have to confront him and, once faced with a choice, understand what they are really made of. The truth is hard for everyone: even more gloomy and hopeless than the previous one, this second season immediately makes it clear that no one, in a ruthless power game like that for the throne of Rome, can remain innocent for long. And maybe it never was either. Halfway between Game of Thrones and a Shakespeare tragedy, Suburra becomes a game in which it is practically impossible to win: at most you can get out of one hand alive, without certainty for the next.
With a fast and pressing pace, the eight episodes they cover a very short period of time, the few days that separate the protagonists from the elections for the new mayor of Rome, and show us the characters as crazy splinters in a chessboard where the lines are not so clear. The only ones who always seem coherent and compact are precisely the youngest: Aureliano, Spadino and Lele are linked by the fact that they have suddenly become adults in a scenario in which "the great old men" are in charge and then join together to subvert the system. But at a very hard price for everyone: the game for the throne of Rome requires blood sacrifices, from which one comes out changed and upset forever, definitively moving to the Dark Side.
The second season of Suburra - The series is a big step forward compared to the first: eight pointing instead of ten streamline the story, making the pace more pressing. The most sought-after direction of Andrea Molaioli and Piero Messina finally gives a distinctive and homogeneous style to the series, making up for the shortcomings of the script, which continues to be a bit lazy (in the dialogues and in the improbable movements of the characters). To support everything continues to be the great charisma of the characters, above all Aureliano, Spadino and Samurai, played by the always excellent Alessandro Borghi, Giacomo Ferrara and Francesco Acquaroli. The perfect ending makes for a third season.
- The work on location and soundtrack is admirable
- Piero Messina as director finally gives a distinctive style to the series
- The charisma of the characters supports everything
- Some performers are not always up to their roles
- The writing continues to be lazy, with dialogues that are not always brilliant and unlikely shifts