Welcome to the Esposito house, the review of the film in the first TV on Sky

From the novel of the same name by Pino Imperatore, a successful parody on the Camorra directed by Gianluca Ansanelli and interpreted by Giovanni Esposito and Antonia Truppo. First TV on Sky Cinema Uno Sunday 13 February

After School of mafiaon the screens of Sky Cinema arrives Welcome to the Esposito house, another film that takes care of making a joke of organized crime; to explain clearly that it is just a mountain of excrement, but using the weapons of laughter. If that was the Mafia this is the Camorra, if the locations were New York and Sicily, here we are in Naples, of which the authors select all the most well-known stereotypes, from mozzarella to sfogliatelle, to make them shine thanks to the explosive charge of satire . A good-natured satire, however, but no less amusing. A fairytale satire, we would say, totally inscribed in the most recent cinematographic activity of Alessandro Siani (Miracles are accepted, The most beautiful day in the world And Who framed Santa Claus), which not surprisingly produces the film. Just as it is no coincidence that the director of Welcome to Esposito home both Gianluca Ansanelli, Neapolitan television and theatrical author, who wrote those films, and who here adapts a novel by Pino Imperatore, journalist and humorous writer, who grew up in the shadow of Giancarlo Siani, killed by the Camorra, for the big screen. Novel that Emperor presents as follows: “Welcome to the Esposito home it is not a book on the Camorra, but inside the Camorra. He explores his everyday life. It offers a view from below, not from above. Of course, it is a novel, and as such it should be considered. In some parts it may seem excessive. Believe me, this is not the case. I have done nothing but record and illustrate, through the formidable tool of irony, facts and characters that occur and meet every day in Naples. Call him comic realism, if you want. More than in any other place in the world, in Naples reality surpasses any fantasy. “


The story is simple, and again later School of mafia it is based on the merciless confrontation between blameless parents, in the perverse logic of criminal codes, and totally inadequate children. Here we have Tonino (symptomatically nicknamed “O ‘fool”), the degenerate son of the boss on duty, unable even to collect protection money, which in the film is ironically defined as a “security contribution”. So inept and incapable of the role of command that he would have had to inherit genetically from his father, that he was forced to bow his head in front of the very funny outbursts of his wife (the excellent Antonia Truppo) and even of his teenage son. Humiliated and offended by the lowest layers of the criminal hierarchy. In a series of comic curtains with a cabaret feel we therefore witness the semi-serious misadventures of this candid Voltairian, played by Giovanni Esposito, the most classic of Neapolitan masks (he was Mariano Apicella in Their by Paolo Sorrentino); a character actor’s life seen in a hundred thousand comedies, which this time rises to the role of protagonist. Tonino doesn’t get it right: he gets his scooter stolen by a couple of guappi not too ferocious, he goes to pick up a South American cartel boss at the airport showing off a sign that says “drug trafficker”. Or else he gets stolen of a very precious camera to which his Mexican guest was romantically linked, of course immediately after having praised the safety of Naples! Thus, the most hilarious comic aspect (but also the most “political” soul of the film) consists precisely of the grotesque and pathetic disconnect between the criminal ambitions and the unreal pusillanimity of the subject, totally devoid of the physique du rôle. A sort of antiphrastic satire whereby the more he is inadequate to crime, the stronger is the condemnation of the “system” (as the Camorra is modestly and hypocritically defined) that should represent



Luca Marinelli, from Jeeg Robot to Diabolik

At his side, the right arm Enzuccio, played by Antonio Orefice, an authentic champion of idiocy if possible even more unlikely than Tonino and the perfect shoulder of a couple that is placed in the wake of the regional comic tradition of which our film is a worthy follower , and which has its most shining examples in Totò and Peppino or in Massimo Troisi and Lello Arena. Tradition explicitly claimed by Ansanelli, who in one of the most hilarious scenes of the film even mentions the famous letter of Totò, Peppino and the malafemmina (already honored by another queen couple of Italian cinema, Troisi and Roberto Benigni, in We just have to cry) and which here becomes, mutatis mutandis, a WhatsApp message dictated by Tonino to Antonio (which thanks to the latter’s comic strings is colored with even more surreal shades than the original model). And that of agreeing with a tradition of topoi and legends of the Neapolitan comedy is not the only virtue of the director born in 1974. In fact, he enlivens the material of the novel thanks to a frenzied comic sketch rhythm, not oblivious to the legacy of the prince of laughter, exploiting it both in the sense of the humor of the situation, and in the physical and verbal one (in which the Neapolitan vernacular, sometimes really hilarious , plays a fundamental role even if for those born elsewhere it may require the use of subtitles). But also by adopting a hyperkinetic editing style typical of oriental martial arts cinema, the so-called “wuxia” or “wuxiapian” (immortalized by masterpieces such as The forest of flying daggers by Zhang Yimou o The tiger and the dragon by Ang Lee). Or, finally, risking unexpected forays into the musical, following in the footsteps of previous nobles such as Tano to die for by Roberta Torre or the most recent Love and underworld by Manetti Bros.



Here I laugh: the review of the film with Toni Servillo

Epperò the literary matrix of the work of Pino Imperatore is not abandoned in the move from one media to another, on the contrary the director decides to keep the echoes thanks to a procedure generally little loved by critics and which nevertheless fully belongs to cinematographic grammar. as well as its best story: the voiceover or voice over if you prefer (just think of a few examples among many: Avenue of the sunset by Billy Wilder, Manhattan by Woody Allen, The man who wasn’t there of the Coen brothers, Dad is on a business trip by Emir Kusturica o Whole life ahead of our Virzì). Here the role of narrator, who – attention – sews the plot of a light, very light opera, capable of snatching sincere and carefree laughter from the viewer, is entrusted to Peppe Lanzetta, Neapolitan theater actor and dramatist of enormous depth, light thanks to the social cabaret of the Neapolitan scene of the late 70s. But it is the whole cast that deserves a flood of applause. Esposito’s wife, Patrizia Scognamiglio, is Antonia Truppo (exceptional here as always), twice winner of the David di Donatello as best supporting actress: in 2016 for They called him Jeeg Robot by Gabriele Mainetti and in 2017 for Indivisible by Edoardo De Angelis. The boss, Pietro De Luca, is Francesco Di Leva, able during his career to give substance to all declinations of the Camorra, starting with the protagonist of Mario Martone’s masterpiece, The mayor of the Sanità district; but also in certain comic variations such as Fefè di Christmas with the boss by Volfango De Biasi. The protagonist’s mother is Betti Pedrazzi, whom we appreciated in the role of the Focal Baroness, in It was the hand of God by Paolo Sorrentino. Finally, in the part of Tonino’s in-laws, we find Salvatore Misticone immortalized thanks to the mythical Mr. Scapece, in the diptych Welcome to the South Welcome to the North both directed by Luca Miniero; and Nunzia Schiano, recently applauded in Gomorrah 5 in which the widow of “O ‘Galantommo” recited. She has the funniest joke in the script, the niece who turns out to be engaged to a magistrate’s son says this: “But couldn’t you have been with a handsome convict like all the girls in the neighborhood do?!?”


Welcome to the Esposito house, the review of the film in the first TV on Sky