|Die Frankfurt-Tipp Bewertung:|
|Originaltitel:||Viva La Liberta|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 96 min.|
|FSK:||From 0 years|
Poor poll results, bad press, headwind from his own party - for the opposition politician Enrico Oliveri (Toni Servillo) this is simply too much. He packs his things and leaves Rome head over heels to disappear in France with his former lover Danielle (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi). The disappearance of its leader without a trace threatens to plunge the party into chaos during the important election campaign phase. Oliveri's closest collaborator Andrea Bottini (Valerio Mastandrea) has the saving idea: he asks Enrico's twin brother Giovanni, an extremely eccentric philosopher, to pretend to be Enrico for a few days. Giovanni does not hesitate for long and accepts the offer - with unexpected consequences: because not only does he enjoy mimicking the politician. The "new" Oliveri is also surprisingly well received by the press and voters. But can this deception be maintained for a long time?
"Viva La Liberta" reminds at first glance a little of the US comedy "Dave" with Kevin Kline. Here as there the actual politician is rather a stiff, joyless guy, who has to fight with little popularity with the people, while his used double radiates joie de vivre, perhaps even a little naivety and closeness to the voters. But that's where the similarities end and the fundamental differences between American and European cinema become obvious. For "Viva La Liberta" does not simply rely on the comedic effect created by the differences between the original and the double. Rather, the film is also a biting political satire and a thought-provoking self-drama that takes a lot of time for quieter moments.
And that's good in the sense that in the course of the film it becomes clear that Enrico isn't actually the bitter, stiff politician you get to know at the beginning. And it also becomes obvious how much a person like Giovanni can be changed by the unusual popularity. Being able to credibly portray two very different people with their different facets requires a really convincing and strong leading actor. Director Roberto Andò found it in Toni Servillo ("La Grande Bellezza"). Servillo can reveal a wide range of his abilities, which he manages so well, that you can forgive the movie for its small lengths and dramaturgical pendants. Surely "Viva La Liberta" as a satire on Italian (and European) politics could have had much more bite. But with such a sympathetic actor this shortcoming only carries half the negative weight.
It might sound a bit negative to call "Viva La Liberta" a nice movie. But that's exactly what it hits the nail on the head about. The comedy is not a cynical political satire, not a confusion sway with permanently fired laughter, but a rather calm, charming work to smile about and like. Nice. If you like unobtrusive European arthouse cinema with a mischievous wink, you've come to the right place. Those who expect a bitter settlement with Berlusconi and his ilk will be disappointed. At the bottom line this is clearly enough for one: Worth seeing! ]
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