DVD Review: THE PALERMO CONNECTION (MHz)

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by Dale Reynolds on March 9, 2019

in CD-DVD

AN ACTOR YOU CAN’T REFUSE

What would Italian cop shows be without some Mafia to give it juice? The Palermo Connection explores that subject when a hotshot cop, Angelo Caronia (Riccardo Scamarcio), is transferred from his current base in Rome to a small police station on the outskirts of Palermo, capitol of Sicily, his birth-city. Brilliant and arrogant, the handsome 30-year-old shows contempt for what he perceives as lazy, uninspired detective work, coupled with insider knowledge of how political corruption and a cowed populace allows the local Mafia to interfere with the water
supply, in addition to new killings.

Caronia had moved away from Palermo a decade before to escape the criminal life shown to him, and now must reunite with a younger brother, Blasco (Michele Riondino of The Young Montalbano). But Caronia’s snobbery about the transfer abates as he learns the quality of life which imbues this quieter city with a population a tenth the size of Rome.

Shot well, it is less travelogue than its more successful cop show, Commissario Montalbano, also set in southern Sicily, but does show the innate beauty of the place. This water problem is the base storyline for six episodes. How and why the Mafia is able to obtain a stranglehold on something as basic as water is fascinating and how Caronia is able to strengthen his team is also engrossing. Scamarcio is the glue here, but watching him in the new PBS show, Woman in White, solidifies why he could be a major star if others pay attention. Devilishly striking, quick-witted and violent (when needs be), he leads a fine cast. His romance with co-worker Daniela (Valentina Lodovini) is pro-forma but sweet, and Angelo’s reconciliation with his brother is a nice touch.

The four writers make it all interesting, to say the least, and director Renato De Maria keeps the tension and action going full-blast. Released in 2011 for just the one season, it’s very much worth noting for both Scamarcio and the views of Sicily.

Palermo Connection
Rai Fiction/MHz Choice Releasing
3 discs | 604 minutes | released April 24, 2018
Italian with English Subtitles
available at MHz or Amazon

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