Gomorrah The Series Review

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Brutal, realistic and shocking but also compelling

by Simon Crust Jul 7, 2016 at 2:45 PM

  • Movies review


    Gomorrah The Series Review
    But you have to promise me something. Never trust anyone. Ever. Not even me.

    Gomorra started life as a 2006 book by Roberto Saviano and is written in an investigative journalistic fashion recounting stories of the Camorra: a Neapolitan criminal organisation largely unknown due to the higher profile of the Sicilian Cosa Nostra. It was, and remains, a huge success and was the subject of an equally successful 2008 film of the same name. Come 2015 and we have Gomorra The Series, which takes the text as a jumping off point and largely forges its own path with its own characters, but keeps in the spirit of the novel and to the idea. Basically Camorra, the name given to the organised crime clans that proliferate around Naples and Caserta, has a very different structure to that found in the Sicilian mafia. The latter is very pyramid shaped in its hierarchical structure compared to the former which is far more street gang orientated, making policing it extremely difficult; taking out one head just leaves the way for another to take his place. In this regard the show is far more ‘The Wire’ in its presentation than that of ‘The Sopranos’.

    Indeed the entire look, pace, tone and character owes an awful lot to ‘The Wire’, what with its urban setting, grime, despair and general outlook. Where it does differ though is in its story structure, this must be the Italian influence. American series tend to have multiple story lines running throughout episodes as you follow characters through their respective toils; Gomorra tends to spend one episode per story point, or with one character as their plot unfolds; this means you get extremely involved with that part of the story (like chapters of a book) and when seen as a whole makes for extremely compelling viewing. The two seasons so far are part of the same continuing story development: the systematic breakdown and build-up of two warring clans seen through the eyes of disillusioned foot soldier Ciro di Marzio, who used underhanded tactics, back-stabbing and scheming, to bring about his own rise in a crazed lust for power. The show is brutal, realistic, shocking, compelling and thoroughly entertaining; it looks incredible, is acted wonderfully, paced expertly and quickly becomes essential viewing.

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