New to Netflix from today is the Italian crime drama, The Turning Point (aka La Svolta). The movie – directed by Riccardo Antonaroli – stars Andrea Lattanzi, Brando Paccito, and Ludovica Martino, and follows the story of a young man who is held captive in his own flat by a thief.
In the film, Ludovico Fazi lives alone in his apartment. His life lacks direction and he has zero confidence, but he’s a would-be comic book artist and a good man at heart.
One night, while taking out the rubbish, Ludovico is hastily approached by an armed stranger in the street, who later identifies himself as Jack. Jack is a thief on the run and desperate to find somewhere to hide, so he forces Ludovico to take him into his apartment.
After informing Ludovico that he has no plans to hurt him, Jack says he will lay low in the apartment for the night. So long as there is no trouble from Ludovico, and he doesn’t attempt to call the police, Jack will then give him €5,000 in cash when he leaves.
Although Ludovico is not comfortable with this arrangement, he has little choice. Jack then spends the night in the apartment, hoping to make a quick getaway in the morning.
But the next morning Jack discovers his getaway is going to prove quite difficult. The building has become surrounded by gangsters – the same gangsters he stole from – and they are armed and ready to kill Jack at the earliest opportunity.
With his escape route blocked, Jack and Ludovico are forced to spend more time together, leading to the development of an unlikely friendship. But will this friendship aid Jack in his escape or will it put Ludovico in imminent danger?
Simple, not overly complicated, and very much a small-scale affair, The Turning Point is a fairly enjoyable little movie, ideal for streaming. The movie presents itself as a crime drama, complete with gun-wielding gangsters, but in essence this picture is about human interaction, conversation, and the bond that forms between two strangers.
The Turning Point centres its action around the relationship that develops between Jack and Ludovico. It looks at how this unlikely pairing proves to be quite fruitful for both parties, and how good things can flourish from the combination of two people with different life experiences.
For outgoing Jack, meeting Ludovico means he temporary has safety, security, and respite, which is something he has been missing in his life for quite some time. While for insecure Ludovico, Jack is able to boost his confidence, and push him to take on challenges he would ordinarily dismiss.
Although their time together is short, they both enhance and enrich each other’s lives for a brief period. Seeing this all play out across the majority of the movie gives the story its heart, and ensures there are two characters to care about in this crime caper.
But the film isn’t a fluffy buddy-buddy tale, there is a sinister edge to the picture and one which is also tinged with sadness. Jack operates in a harsh world, where death comes from the barrel of a gun, and this means tragedy could be just around the corner.
So, while the majority of The Turning Point is about these two characters coming together and the way in which they find common ground, the film does have some dark moments. These moments seep into the story every once in a while, and continually remind the audience this is a film about the criminal underworld and how brutal it can be.
Although The Turning Point isn’t the most dynamic crime drama, and it could benefit from a little tension here and there, there is enough to like in the story to keep things moving forward. The cast are also fine, and the intimate setting works perfectly for the scale and budget of the picture.
The Turning Point won’t become your new favourite crime movie, and I don’t imagine it’ll stick in the memory for too long, but it is fine for what it is. If you want something which is easy to follow and a movie that is largely character driven, it’s not a bad way to spend 90(ish) minutes of your time.