Il Divo gave me this revelation that we cast away certain ideas as ‘cinematically nonviable’ because we don’t have the ingenuity to come around our own creative limitations. Il Divo is a biopic based on former Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti. It was awarded the Prix du Jury at Cannes in 2008.
Normally this is the kind of he-story which makes my eyes glaze over. What makes Il Divo tick? Apart from the gripping screenplay about a corrupt politician who is so complex that you can’t label him that easily? I would say the quirky eccentric direction. You like what you see on the screen. In terms of images. Every thing has an eye grabbing assymetry about it. The novelty of even depicting the most routine proceedings made me realise that you can make an engaging movie about a stone lying on the side walk too, if you have the talent.
And also the ability to get you into the skin of the character helps. Small small details through which the character is etched out (The way Andreotti keeps his hands and how it reveals his thoughts, His rather operatic evening walk, the slump, his ability to let not his face betray any kind of emotion, the saintliness of life style) is what keeps this movie engaging. Gradually you start liking this Faustian character who has sold his soul to the devil to ‘maintain order.’ He is conservative and religious. He does not drink or chase women. He has links to the mafia. He orchestrated murders of many, including journalists… He does remind you that truth can be muddy.