The Complexity of Happiness from director Gianni Zanasi, will screen this June at the ICFF Canada.
“I’m #1 in my profession, but I’m the only one in my profession”, says Enrico Giusti (Valerio Mastandrea). I’m not even sure if Enrico’s job exists in real life; I suppose anything’s possible. He’s a hatchet man of sorts, but a kinder and gentler one. When owners of companies die and their heirs aren’t capable of taking the reins. he befriends them and convinces them to step down, allowing boards of directors to find more suitable CEOs. Victims seem pretty OK with the outcome.
It’s billed as a comedy, which is confusing to me, because a story about a couple of sad orphans, a suicidal young woman who finds herself alone in the world and an office full of arrogant businessmen don’t seem like the right components for laughter. The Complexity of Happiness feels wistful and melancholic, at times even painful. Valerio Mastandrea takes control and never lets go of the screen, masterfully portraying a man who is questioning himself and the point to his life.
The soundtrack is the most refreshing of any I’ve seen in an Italian movie for a long time, a playful, dreamlike and a perfect match for the whimsical and, at times surreal cinematography from a DOP that has become the best in Italy, Vladan Radovic.