A gangster film you can't refuse: BRIAN VINER says Black Souls is a classy mafia tale 

By Brian Viner for the Daily Mail

Published: 21:00 EST, 29 October 2015 | Updated: 21:01 EST, 29 October 2015

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Black Souls

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A superior, Italian language mafia drama, Black Souls is almost an hour old before the first gunshot rings out, making it very different from the Coppola and Scorsese school of corpse-strewn gangster flicks.

And yet there are strong echoes of The Godfather, with a narrative powered by the contrasting personalities of three brothers from a Calabrian crime family, as well as the impressionable 20-year-old son of one of them.

Black Souls is almost an hour in before the first gunshot rings out but there are still strong echoes of The Godfather. The film is at times achingly slow, but it builds towards its genuinely shocking denouement

Black Souls is almost an hour in before the first gunshot rings out but there are still strong echoes of The Godfather. The film is at times achingly slow, but it builds towards its genuinely shocking denouement

This is Leo (Giuseppe Fumo), whose father Luciano (Fabrizio Ferracane), the eldest brother, has turned his back on the family business, preferring a simple, virtuous life tending his goats. The last thing Luciano wants is for Leo to be drawn into a world of drug deals and vengeance killings. But Leo’s head is turned by the sleek machismo of the youngest brother Luigi (Marco Leonardi), the muscle of the operation, who in turn is at odds with the brains, in the form of bespectacled middle brother Rocco (Peppino Mazzotta).

Rocco lives with his chic wife in Milan, a world away from the remote Calabrian village where hot-headed Leo has provoked a confrontation with a rival crime family by shooting up one of their bars.

Rather like the interlude in The Godfather when Michael Corleone lies low in Sicily, the drama shifts from the frenetic city to the feud-ridden mountains, where an unspeakable tragedy awaits.

Black Souls is at times achingly slow as it builds towards its genuinely shocking denouement, but in a way that just intensifies the sense of realism.

I’m a great fan of The Godfather, but for an insight into the way these families still operate back in the old country, Francesco Munzi’s fine film stands comparison.

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A gangster film you can't refuse: BRIAN VINER says Black Souls is a classy mafia tale 
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