Review by John P. Harvey.
Pio (Pio D’Antini) and Amedeo (Amedeo Grieco) have been inseparable friends since early childhood — inseparable, that is, until they complete their secondary studies, after which Pio leaves their native small town Puglia to become a financial bigshot in Milan and Amedeo stays behind to study and practise medicine.
Twenty years slip by before the once best friends cross paths again, and in that time Pio’s and Amedeo’s lives couldn’t have been more different. Pio, when not working, is trying to help Puglia address its major problem, which is the loss of the town’s young people who are leaving the town in droves to find a better life in Milan; Amedeo is busy climbing the greasy money-making pole, surrounded by the “beautiful people” and self-styled “influencers”.
When Pio returns to Puglia to receive an award for being a son of the town who made good, he offers the city council what it desperately needs: a loan, but at an unaffordable interest rate. Amedeo, urged by the local council to call on their old friendship to persuade Pio to reduce the interest rate, travels to Milan to see and stay with Pio. And that’s when unforeseen difficulties begin piling up, until the old friends must once again face the world together.
Pio D’Antini and Amedeo Grieco, who co-wrote the screenplay for Belli Ciao with director Gennario Nunziante, are natural comics, their body language as funny as their lines, and, in bringing their characters to life, they offset one another perfectly, making Belli Ciao an hour and a half of irresistible laughs. With its inclusion of additional interest in creative visual angles, a few quirky personalities, and some gentle satire of officialdom, the film is a surefire all-round entertainment.
Screening at Palace cinemas.