Crime Novel ( Romanzo criminale )
"Romanzo Criminale" by Yojimbo
A group of small time street punks use violence and intimidation to rise to the level of the crime lords of Rome during the 70s and 80s. A gang related crime story intertwined with the actual events of the time, all set to a soundtrack of contemporary hits shows Romanzo Criminale's aspirations to being Italy's answer to Goodfellas, but it falls rather short of Scorsese's masterpiece in terms of grittiness and sophistication. It has the prerequisite violence and hard boiled characters, but its one note pacing and episodic script makes it feel rather more like a crime based soap opera than a tough examination of the criminal mentality. The choice of music is also a little too Heart FM and the scenes that intercut news footage from the time don't quite gel together properly, making it seem more exploitative than informative. It is well played and fast paced enough to make it slickly entertaining and is certainly worth a couple of hours of your time if you're a fan of the genre. But it was a mistake comparing it to Goodfellas and The Godfather because it was never going to measure up to those indisputable classics.