Film Review – Io Capitano

Io Capitano

The latest film from Matteo Garrone, Io Capitano, is definitely worth a watch! It is a coming-of-age film for two young men, Seydour, played by Seydou Sarr and Moussa, played by Moustsphas Fall. These Senegalese young men want to leave their town of Dakar and make their way to Europe in search of a better life.

This film is the story of their journey up to the time officials from Italy meet them. We are used to watching the news of undocumented immigrants being picked up by authorities; well, this is the story that finishes at that point. The film shows the strength of the friendship between the two main characters, no matter what hardships they face. They have saved a considerable sum of money, believing that is all they need to have a successful journey to Italy.

They begin their journey as a bit of a boy’s own adventure. The journey takes us across North Africa from Dakar to Tripoli. They are naïve at the beginning. Real events inspire this road movie. It is a stunning visual, but it also has its raw moments, as the boys discover as they travel across North Africa. On this journey, they meet the worst in people. The reality is nothing like what they imagined the trek would be. The film shows the fragility and strength these two lads need to make their journey successful.

As they travel, they meet the worst of humanity, the people smugglers, the slave traders, the pure evil that man can be, with nightmarish, dehumanizing scenarios. These violent scenes have been shot in a way that is not too shocking, but you get to understand the real violence that any refugees/ immigrants are often subjected to. There is the Libyan Mafia, which is the most unscrupulous. On the other hand, they meet the people who care for and understand them, showing that even in suffering, you meet good individuals. The boys get split up soon after passing a field of corpses. Moussa is dragged off at gunpoint to prison whilst the Liyan Mafia tortures Seydou in an effort to extort money from his family.

Several scenes contain magical dream sequences full of meaning that may seem to divert the film and, for some, possibly slow its pace. Still, the sequences remain important as they counterpoint the acts of violence we see in other parts of the film.

Once Seydou reaches Tripoli and is reunited with his wounded cousin, Moussa, he is recruited by a human trafficker to captain a boat across the Mediterranean. He has minimal training for the task ahead. The old rust bucket of a boat is filled to the gunwales with other Africans wanting a better life in Europe. They are heading to the coast under the command of Sydou, or Io Capitano, as those on board call him. The film ends as the helicopters arrive.

This is a great film. It could have been depressing, but it manages to retain an uplifting and inspirational edge, and I highly advise that you see it.

This review also appears on It’s On The House. Check out more reviews at Whats The Show to see what else is on in your town.

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Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery

Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery

The Adelaide Rep’s first offering for 2024 at their home of the Art’s Theatre is Baskerville -A Sherlock Holmes Mystery. Written by Ken Ludwig, it is based on the story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Geoff Brittain directs the production, which is ably assisted by Olivia Jane Parker.

The cast consists of Andrew Horwood as Sherlock Holmes and Sam Wiseman as John Watson. These are supported by Anita Zamberlan Canala, Thomas Midena, and Kim Clark, who play the remaining characters who have to fill a whopping 35 roles.

As you can imagine, with the cast playing so many roles, numerous costume changes take place, including several on stage. What a challenge for all involved! The costumes were all created by the surely overworked Gillian Cordell and were suitable for the type of production and in keeping with the period.

The set, designed by director Geoff Brittian, is nice and simplified. A screen projection dominates, making it effortless to create the atmosphere for a wide variety of scenes and locations. The lighting design by Richard Parkhill accomplishes its job and lends strength to the various scenes, assisting in generating a variety of moods.

The audio design for the show was very neat and clever, with Michael Diakomichali designing and performing the audio live. This turned out to be a great asset to the show, with a live soundtrack that included some slightly recognisable pieces as well as original pieces. The timing of the cues was spot on.

The play flows well, partly due to the simple set design, comprising a few scenic trucks and a projection screen. This made it easy for the action to flow smoothly. As often is the case with big sets, scene changes can take time, but here, we can see the economy of set design complimenting the pace of the story. With clever scene changes, we move from 221b Baker Street to the estate of the Baskervilles on the Moors in an instant.

Being opening night, there were a few moments when the pace seemed to drop. This play needs power to keep the gags rolling, but the cast will undoubtedly become slicker with each performance.

There were many funny moments, which the audience lapped up. Geoff Brittain has schooled his cast well to get every laugh out of the script. The cast does a wonderful job on stage, knowing when to hold for the laugh. Occasionally, they miss the light, but that can be put down to an opening night technicality.

This was an enjoyable play with plenty of laughs and entertainment that made the trip to the theatre worthwhile. So scurry along to get your fix Sherlock Holmes fix before the season ends on April 6th.

This review also appears on It’s On The House. Check out more reviews at Whats The Show to see what else is on in your town.

Photos by Richard Parkhill.

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Adelaide Fringe – Meg in the Magic Toyshop

Adelaide Fringe - Meg in the Magic Toyshop

The Adelaide Fringe’s Meg In The Magic Toyshop is a G-rated children’s production showing in the Atrium at The Warehouse Theatre. Children’s shows are often a hit-and-miss. Especially when you start to compare them with Wiggle’s and similar. The set is simple and in lots of bold colours.

The two performers, South Australians Mia Ferraretto as Penny, the toy soldier, and Merrilyn Greer as Meg, the doll, have the characters down pat. You can easily recognise their musical theatre training reflected in the show’s excellent payoffs.

As soon as the cast entered the stage, the audience of adults and children settled down. Penny and Meg command the stage. The storyline is pleasant and straightforward, with songs and a bit of magic that keeps the audience spellbound. It is slightly old-fashioned, but that is the charm of the show.

Adelaide Fringe - Meg in the Magic Toyshop

The cast performed their roles impeccably and ensured all children were engaged from the front down to the back row. The presentation engaged the audience and ignited their imagination with its interactive approach, effectively incorporating educational elements.

This was a simple story of a lost glove and the quest to hunt down its location in the toyshop. This 45-minute show held the audience’s attention throughout, and in the end, you could see from the smiles of the adults and children that the show was a success, and the audience went home happy.

This short but sweet show was brought to the public by Vintage Vendetta Productions and was developed in South Australia. It is undoubtedly a production company to keep an eye on. And this is definitely a show for parents to keep their children entertained.

The remaining session dates and times for Meg In The Magic Toyshop are as follows:-
Fri 08 Mar: 4:30pm
Sat 09 Mar: 10:00am, 11:30am
Sun 10 Mar: 11:15am
Fri 15 Mar: 4:30pm
Sat 16 Mar: 10:00am, 11:30am
Sun 17 Mar: 11:15am

This review also appears on It’s On The House, and check out more reviews at Dark Stories Theatre to see what else is on in your town.

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