The Caiman review

Released in Italy just ahead of last year’s elections, Nanni Moretti’s stinging critique of outgoing PM Silvio Berlusconi (the caiman or alligator of the title) could hardly have been more topical. Twelve months on, alas, and it’s a period piece, the controversial leader’s fall from grace rendering its indignation at his corrupt regime almost quaint. Fortunately polemic is just one aspect of Moretti’s bold satire, the main thrust of which concerns a producer’s chaotic attempts to get a Berlusconi-baiting thriller off the ground as his marriage disintegrates around him. Wringing gentle laughs from its hero’s schlocky horror past and the arrogant actor he’s tapped to play the lead, what follows is a wry look at the universal tribulations of mid-budget movie-making. Pity, then, that good is undone by an overblown film-within-a-film climax that merely reinforces Nanni’s parochial concerns.

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