Spoilers suspect the bad guy might be a nazi.
Entertainment places high in my list for the top reasons to watch a movie. It doesn’t have to be the main characteristic, but the less entertainment value a movie has, the less I want to start watching it, keep watching it, or recommend it. Fortunately this feature is packed to the rafters with it, giving us drama, comedy and tragedy. Stepping outside the mainstream means it’s also free to do things that would be unthinkable, such as creating very real danger for our cast of unlikely heroes.
FREAKS OUT (2022) is directed by Gabriele Mainetti. The stars of the small Mezza Piotta Circus, Fulvio (Claudio Santamaria), Matilde (Aurora Giovinazzo), Cencio (Pietro Castellitto) and Mario (Giancarlo Martini) live a simple, happy life traveling around Italy of the 40s until the quiet life of the countryside is disturbed by Nazi occupation. With their life in shambles, circus owner Israel (Giorgio Tirabasi) suggests emigrating to America. However, he’s soon captured. Alone and without hope, the group will try luck at the Zirkus Berlin, unaware that the owner and main attraction Franz (Franz Rogowski) is capturing super-powered people to fight for the Nazi cause.
The movie boast incredible production to highlight the secret talents of Fulvio, a super-strong wolfman; Matilde, able to harness electricity; Cencio, master of insects and Mario, a human magnet. When Israel is kidnapped, Matilde is the one that searches for him ending up running into the ragtag resistance of partisans led by the Hunchback (Max Mazzotta). Amongst the many colourful characters, the one that stands out the most is Franz, the nazi-loving six-fingered piano prodigy capable of seeing the future. I’ve never seen so many nazi paraphernalia in a single room. Because of his ability to do that, he’s capable of guessing our four superhumans can change the course of the war, hear music from the distant future, know the invention of the smartphone and witness the haunting image of a silhouette of his beloved Führer committing suicide.
Highly recommended with a warning for casual audiences. Its colourful and over-the-top images are also mixed with a rather honest view of brutality and death. Mainstream viewers expecting the classic “safe” superhero media where violence leaves no dead bodies and bullets miss will be shocked to see people can die from all sides. This means real danger is ahead as well as casualties. In a movie depicting war, even with a fantastic palette, it is important to know life is not a circus and yet keep some hope. Worth a watch.
That will do for now.