Salvo is the Italian crime drama collaboration debut of directors Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza. While the film was out in 2013, it has an almost timeless feel about it. Its slow pace and moody atmosphere creates a unique screening as the viewer is delved into the world of a hit man whose life is turned upside down by an unexpected event.
Salvo, played brilliantly by the solemn Saleh Bakri, is a bodyguard and hit man who works for the Sicilian mafia. However, his life takes an unforeseen turn when he comes face-to-face with his next hit’s blind younger sister, Rita (Sara Serraiocco). It is unsure whether Salvo is the cause for Rita’s sudden recovery, or whether she is able to make out shapes all along. Either outcome, Rita’s presence stops Salvo in his tracks, causing him to hold the witness of his crime capture, despite the risky consequences.
The film moves at a very slow pace. There is little dialogue, leaving the actors to put across emotions felt as their relationships shift and in Salvo and Rita’s case, strengthen. Salvo’s intentions are not completely clear until the final scenes, leaving you wondering where the twist will turn. In the backdrop is the ever-rising tension for Salvo, whose boss realises that he is no longer turning up for work.
Salvo is a beautifully stylised and atmospheric film that takes its genre into a new realm. It’s a unique watch that is well acted, well thought out and delivered outstandingly.
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