starring Marcello Fonte, Edoardo Pesce, Nunzia Schiano, Adamo Dionisi
screenplay by Ugo Chiti, Massimo Gaudioso, Matteo Garrone
directed by Matteo Garrone
by Walter Chaw About four scenes into Matteo Garrone's Dogman, I wondered if he was going to be able to keep it up: the invention, the escalating tension, the breathless feat of being something entirely novel. I've never seen anything like Dogman. It's a crime film, a tender picture about a father and his daughter, a look at poverty, a look at addiction and maybe mental illness, a critique of masculinity at its terminal extremities, and a withering conversation about what friendship can look like between two men. It's a film that feels like a fable sometimes; like neorealism at others. It's shockingly violent and then surpassingly tender. There's a monster in Dogman, too, and while it's easy to hate and fear him, there are moments where I felt myself hoping that someone could reach him. I could even feel myself wanting his approval. The picture is unusually smart about the human condition, even though its intelligence appears to be alien in nature. It's impossible to know from one minute to the next what's going to happen in Dogman, which isn't to say it makes no sense but rather that it makes perfect sense, once it happens. It's brilliant.