5 is the perfect number – drowning by numbers

Igort adapts his graphic novel in theaters (the most translated one)
And directs his first film.
An unclassifiable and probably future Italian classic.

By Franck Lebraly

Reading time 3 min.



Naples, 1970, Peppino Lo Cicero, Camorra killer, is retired, but he is taking back service when his son is found dead in the street. He reunites his old team to investigate and mercilessly fight with the Naples mafia in order to find the killer. The film is built over this simple rampage story with mass murders and clan war. 5 is the perfect number’s main attraction is, as you figured out, not in the story but in the powerful esthetic. Which is found in the comic published in 20 countries, in 15 languages. A perfect mix between Dick Tracy (Chester Gould’s comic, not movie) and Sin City (Rodriguez-Miller, 2005).

The city is part of the storytelling
as an actress acting her best part.

Napoli Muse
The city is part of the storytelling as an actress acting her best part. Naples is a theater for vices, sublimated by a light and a film noir vibe. Peppino, and his highly recognizable Mafioso look, almost like a disguise, doesn’t feel adequate in the modern mafia exempt from honor, like a premonitory vision of nowadays Naples where kids gangs run the city (Piranhas). Most dialogues are in Neapolitan language from and outdated world.

Artwork as storytelling
The film is divided by chapters illustrated by short vintage interludes Saul Bass Style (Hitchcock credits), you wander around dark alleys and deserted squares, where Giorgio de Chirico’s shadow can still be felt. The light and depth of field accentuate the erring characters’ loneliness. Nice homage to Metropolis (Fritz Lang) and the German impressionism. Hongkonger Johnnie To (Election, Mad Detective) has been working hard on the project he was supposed to direct, but unavailable, he let Igort have free rein over his creation.

Another master carries the movie. Toni Servillo, wearing again the outfit ideally after Andreotti (Il Divo) and Berlusconi (Loro), he is now transformed into a Mafioso’s caricature. We love his facial expressions, his theatrical voice contributing through a timeless aura to make the film a success.

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