Gomorra La Serie (TV Show)

Gomorra La Serie (Created by Roberto Saviano)/2014

Gomorra takes you into the mythical world of Neapolitan Mafia; the world of traditions, loyalty and religion. The world on display is markedly different from modern western society yet the human nature that we find is immediately relatable; the hunger for power, greed, passion and love.

Gomorra is based on the award winning film of the same name (based on the book written by Roberto Saviano). Each episode focuses on a particular character in the world of Mafia families in Naples. The stories of the characters and their rise and fall are intricately woven into the broader power dynamic between the Savastano and Salvatore families under the pressing gloom of Mt Vesuvius, which features frequently in the backdrop. We meet paranoid bosses, scheming servants, young lovers and an innocent working class boy in the whirlwind of ruthless violence.

In the opening 2 or 3 episodes there were moments where the series tried to provide comic relief; this came across cheesy and, in my view, denigrated the show somewhat. However as the tension escalated the comic reliefs dissipated and the series became a gripping tale of survival and tragedy where each episode delivered a knock-out performance.

I also loved the look and sound of the series. Some might say it is a bit heavy on filters but I think it adds a surreal, manga-like feel. The cinematography of the series is stunning. Each scene appears to have been carefully chosen for its design or architectural quality. Not only does the series show lots of well-designed and interesting buildings, it seems to really exploit modern spaces, lights and visual lines in indoor scenes. In some respects it provided a breath of fresh air with its modern simplicity against the antiquated and traditional culture of the Mafia.

The soundtrack is done by an Italian group called Mokadelic which was reminiscent of the Mogwai of the French show The Returned. The track ranged from operatic melodies of euphoria to electronic grind of human struggles while the Neapolitan dialect spoken in the series adds strong emotive colour to the sounds.

All in all this is the best TV series I’ve seen in a long time and I can’t wait till season two in May 2016.

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