First impressions: Originally served here, Sorentino in Naples is reminiscent of New Orleans. A lovely seaside city with a slightly eerie, old-world energy. Patricia (Louisa Ranieri) is the first character we meet. Perhaps because she is destined to become the inspiration of the young hero and the object of his s*xual awakening. He was standing in the street where he was taken by an older man who knew him even though he didn’t know him. He took her in an antique car to a dusty and empty house. With a large broken chandelier in the centre; he meets someone/something known as a “little monk”. And is touched by an old man who says he can no longer have children.
She returned home to her husband, who accused her of prostitution and physically assaulted her.
Patricia is the sister of Fabio Schiza’s mother (Filippo Scotti). Fabio rides his scooter through the evening streets with Saviero (Tony Servillo) and Maria (Teresa Sapongelo) clutching their backs. They had come to comfort and appease Patricia, whose recent erratic behaviour had challenged her sanity; Fabio couldn’t take his eyes off his aunt’s beautiful bare breasts. Fabio will remember the times – riding the scooter. The beauty and despair of his aunt – later in the film. When they became more critical because he didn’t know yet, but his maturity started there.
Sorrentino describes young Fabieto’s life: The Schiza family live in a bourgeois apartment in Napolitano. Fabio and his father loved the Napoli football team. And could only dream that Diego Maradona would one day play for them. Saviero is a warm-hearted man who works in a big city office. And may not be entirely faithful in his marriage. Maria is a cheerful and intelligent mother who is good at juggling oranges impressively. And has a penchant for making terrible jokes with friends and family.
Fabio shares a bedroom with his older brother Marcino (Marlon Joubert), an ambitious actor; Marcino was the one who broke the ice for his aunt Patricia’s beauty. His younger sister, Daniela, is in the bathroom all the time and is seen so rarely. That it seems pointless to put the names of the actresses she plays in brackets. Your upstairs neighbour is the widow of a “famous gynaecologist” and known only as the baroness (Betty Padrozi); it gave off some magical vibes, not in a wrong way, but in a mysterious way.
We watched the Shiza family enjoy a dreary outdoor meal with unclean aunts, uncles, cousins, and matriarchs.
They boarded a boat in the bay, swam, and got out of the water to find Patricia sunbathing without a seam; He called Fabio to bring him a towel. Fabio made notes with Marcino while auditioning for one of the 4,000 extras in Fellini’s film; Fabio then watches in awe as the director, known as Capuano (Ciro Capano), pulls off incredible stunts on the road for his film. Asked by his mother what he wants to do when he finishes school, Fabieto said maybe philosophy is a corner of filmmaking. He and his father were delighted when the impossible rumours came true when Maradona joined Napoli – a remarkable achievement indeed. Daniela is still in the bathroom. Did you know that Sorrentino was orphaned at the age of 16? That’s right. Sadly, true.
Sorrentino’s style can best be described as cinematic praise – his confidence as a visual narrator is always on the display, and his compositions and themes display a kind of restrained boldness. It is important to note that God’s hand was shaped more by pain and love – for the family, for the city of Naples – than ego. That truth masks some of the film’s criticisms: that it’s a cult of Fellini, that it’s yet another admiration for the power of cinema (things like that peaked with Shape of Water and may have hit rock bottom with Mank, which is fine, but for the name of evil, why should I worry?).
This film is better than most films about life in the cinema:
About the birth of a film director. This is just one part of Sorrentino’s story, which uses sport, food, s*x, laughter, violence and tragedy as structural parts of a boy’s life in Napolitano, conjured alive, with comedy, sadness, and an explosion of surrealism funny. Fabio befriends a cigarette smuggler, rents VHS Once Upon a Time in America, fights with bats in the baroness’s apartment.
He watches the richest man in the world go by, watches his school sweetheart in the theatre, hugs his brother. He yells at his sister through the bathroom door, letting in light on the big screen reflected on his face, arguing with Capuano. Dealing with leaked family secrets, losing his virginity and wandering the streets of Naples where he recalls the happy moment in which his parents clung to behind. From the scooter. They all ended up jumping into the ocean, where they swam and got wet, and maybe Fabio wasn’t ready to do the same just yet.
The Hand of God is a bold, shameless, lively and beautiful film that takes us into its world, which Sorrentino has filled with life in all its over-the-top magic. This is a portrait of a director showing a controlled hand when telling a story he has no control over. This is a fight, and that’s the truth, and this is art.