Loro Chi? (Them Who?) (2015) [San Diego Italian Film Festival 2017]

While trying to impress his boss at a job that his crushing his writer’s soul, Davide loses everything and finds a new way of living and thinking that eventually will lead him to happiness.

Written by Fabio Bonifacci who co-directed with Francesco Miccichè, Loro Chi? is an interesting take on the grifter comedy sub-genre. This film is part con artist story, search for purpose, and ultimately happiness. The film here takes these subjects and goes for a fun, light-hearted (mostly) way of going through its story and the twists and turns it imposes on the lead character of Davide. Loro Chi is funny and entertaining while also keeping the viewer guessing and showing beautiful locations around Italy. The film boasts characters that are touching, yet sometimes frustrating people, trying to go through life, make a living, and be happy, something most people can relate to. The characters are complex and flawed giving them a human quality that keeps the viewer involved in their story and wanting to see them succeed even when they are on the wrong side of the law.

The cast here is what sells the insane story so well. In the lead of Davide is Edoardo Leo who plays him seriously at first and less and less seriously as the character starts to take himself less seriously. His performance is like a gravitational pole, it pulls the viewer in even in the worst of times for his character. He works in a way that creates interest and keeps it. His performance is central here and it’s a must see. Playing the grifter who screws him over and then helps him realize what he really wants and needs to be happy is Marco Giallini who plays his character of Marcello with conviction and aplomb. His character knows what he’s doing is wrong, but he enjoys it and does it so well that it becomes contagious. These two alone would have been enough to make the film more than watchable, to make it entertaining and keep the viewer coming back for more. The rest of the cast adds to this with good performance from Catrinel Marlon as Ellen and Lisa Bor as Mitra. Their characters seem to be nothing more than eye candy when they are introduced but they are much more than that and bring added layers to the story and to the cons they run during this story. The cast here is all talented with no bad apple in the bunch, a sign of great casting and directing for sure.

The film’s cinematography by Arnaldo Catinari is stunning. Some of the locations were clearly meant to be made into postcards and the film uses these to its best advantage, adding to the visual interest but also making it look like an expensive production when it may or may not have been. The film’s attention to locations and images gives it a sense of style within itself. It gives the comedy a stunning background to evolve in and to keep the viewer involved.

Loro Chi? is a fun film with a classic message about finding one’s happiness. Here this message is seen from the viewpoint of an artist and it manages to very well established the plight of most creative trying to make money with their art. Loro Chi? takes this a bit further and makes a whole adventure leading a man to realize what makes him really happy. The creativity on display in the cons is fantastic, the acting is great, and the film becomes one that should be seen more than once.