By Chris Hammond
Movie Title: (L’orafo) THE GOLDSMITH
Starring: Stefania Casini, Stefano Fregni, Giuseppe Pambieri
Directed by: Vincenzo Ricchiuto
Written by: Vincenzo Ricchiuto, Germano Tarricone
Distributor: Cinephobia Releasing
Run Time: 89 minutes (Film is subtitled)
Roberto, Arianna and Stefano (a trio of desperate criminals) target a house of a old Goldsmith and his wife. Their intention is to rob these seemingly easy targets and get away with the loot unscathed. Things go from bad to worse when unexpected challenges stand in their way.
THE GOLDSMITH is Vincenzo Ricchiuto’s directing debut. The film was written by Ricchiuto and Germano Tarricone. The film starts with a group of young children running through a semi demolished building. They are being pursued by an older man. Here we find out the kids are stealing from the man who catches up to them and it stabbed and dies at the hand of one of the kids.
The story jumps ahead some years and the audience is introduced to Arianna (Tania Bambaci), Stefano (Mike Cimini), and Roberto (Gianluca Vannucci), three lifelong criminals whose lives are filled with drugs, stealing and other nefarious activities.
The gang of criminals ready themselves for their next score, a house on the rustic Italian wilderness. Seemingly unaware of the impending danger Antonio (Giuseppe Pambieri) and his wife, Giovanna (Stefania Casini) get ready to settle in for the night. Once the three criminals (wearing latex baby masks) are in the house they tie up the husband and wife and interrogate them on the whereabouts of the jewelry.
They deny the existence of any laboratory where Antonio tinkers away at his chosen profession. After some time and threat to his wife’s life Antonio shows the thieves the entrance to his lab.
The couple is rewarded by having their hands zip-tied behind their backs to chairs. Stefano, Arianna, and Roberto are overcome by greed and start collecting their booty, not realizing that Antonio’s lab door is equipped with a lock timer. The door shuts trapping the trio inside and then the fun begins.
Antonio and Giovanna (who have since escaped their zip-ties) have the upper hand and precede to play with the minds of their detainees. Will anyone still be alive at the end of the night and at what cost ?
Although burglary movies aren’t a new concept, Ricchiuto manages to breath new life into them with THE GOLDSMITH. The Break-in and premise for the film are well paced and intense. Ricchiuto plays his own set of mind games with the viewers, leaving them guessing what might happen next.
Arianna (Bambaci), Stefano (Cimini), and Roberto (Vannucci), are believable as thieves and captivate with their vigorous portrayals. At the other side of the spectrum is the very likeable Antonio (Pambieri) and Giovanna (Casini). There scenes together feel so natural and genuine, as if they have known each other for years.
The first two halves of THE GOLDSMITH feel fresh, it’s only when in the third act things start to take a turn into common horror territory. It feels a bit unfinished and rushed, things are full fleshed out like in the first hour or so. With a little more set up, the final act could make the film an instant classic, but sadly it falls just a little short.
This isn’t to say the film isn’t worth checking out. The acting, compelling characters. Pambieri as Antonio is steadfast to the material. Stefania Casini (who some may remember as the character of Sara in Dario Argento’s classic Suspiria) is mesmerizing as Giovanna. Her ability to switch emotional gears and still be palatable to the viewers is extraordinary, The other cast members also enchant with their dedication to their characters and the story.
THE GOLDSMITH also works in some comedy into the mix, which isn’t an easy task for this type of film. This is brilliant film making, acting and execution (minus the out of place third act). Overall, well worth a view, especially heading in to the Halloween season.